Gerald Forster was born in Germany in 1964. He graduated from the Carl Severing Fachhochschule, of Photography in Bielefeld, Germany in 1985. He started his professinal career as a fashion photographer in Paris. Since 1998 he has lived and worked in New York, where he started shooting celebrities for a range of publications including Esquire, Vogue, Newsweek and Premier. In addition to his commercial and editorial work, he has pursued several fine art projects. He has been the recipient of several awards including the EuroPress Professional Photographer Award, the Hasselblad Masters finalist in fine art, the IPA Award in fine art and the Award of excellence at the 51st Annual Photography Exhibition at Communication Arts. His fine art photography and video are represented in the US by Hous Projects Gallery, Jenkins Johnson Gallery and Stephen Cohan Gallery. In Germany he is represented by the Deschler Gallery.
The LightYears project began as an experiment in photo – poetic portraiture, a collaboration between Gerald Forster and poet, author Anthony Smith. What began as an experiment became a decade long odyssey, spanning 5 continents and more than 20 countries, to document the diversity of indigenous cultures. The project celebrates the beauty of difference and emphasizes a communality of wisdom, dignity, integrity and strength of character shared by all humans. By delivering layers of natural light deep in the eyes of his subjects, Forster is able to communicate the subtleties of expression and the depth of human character removed from the emblematic geography of culture. The portraits describe the humanistic side of a life – changing culture. They record the experience of spontaneous awakenings and self discovery in the presence of remarkable people… in the process of a great journey.