Just Loomis

Just Loomis (*1957 Reno, Nevada) lives in Los Angeles. Began photography in 1975. 

Unvarnished, subtle beauty

“It’s the people Just chooses for his photos, he understands them. They’re untouched photos. That’s why they are, to me, a perfect example of present-day Americana.” states June Newton

Just Loomis began his career as an assistant to Helmut Newton, whom he met shortly after graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena; the two remained close friends until Newton’s death in 2004. Newton’s widow, June, is still one of Loomis’ supporters.

From 1981-1986, Just lived and worked in Milan and Paris. Photographing fashion and portraits for Vogue Sposa and Linea Italiana. 

From 1986-1996 he lived and worked in New York City as a fashion/portrait photographer for Harper's Bazaar and  The New York TImes Magazine.

In 1996 he moved with his family to Los Angeles.

It was here that he decided to devote himself to fine art projects that were of importance to him personally,adding to the already significant body of personal work.

"In the 1970s, amid the railroad tracks and casinos of his birthplace—Reno, Nevada—he took black-and-white photos of life in the American West, and its landscapes. Toward the end of the 1990s, as a father of two children, he spent four years only taking photos of children who caught his attention. Ultimately, he moved to Los Angeles to concentrate solely on fine art and documentary photography, some of it in very subtle color.__ Loomis’ pictures provide an honest view of everyday life in America. He photographs waitresses, strippers, models, lonely strangers, couples in love, old and young folk, his family, and people met by chance; vast, open landscapes and densely packed cities. With a sense of curiosity and sympathy, his photos narrate the lives of people around him.__ Childhood memories—of his parents’ motel and restaurant, for example—are an important source of inspiration. For Loomis, photography is a medium that helps to maintain memories or else re-interprets them. In many of his pictures, the relationship between the people and their country is palpable, although not chauvinistically patriotic. At times, his spontaneous street scenes recall Robert Frank’s photo-journalism piece, The Americans (1958).__ Loomis fully explores the narrative, documentary, and aesthetic potential of his naturalistic genre. There is no need to experiment with form or to create artificial scenes. He finds subtle beauty, not in perfection, but in the unvarnished."

Text written for Hatje Cantz Art Dictionary by:   Monika Wolz, M.A., studied Art History and German at the University of Stuttgart. She has worked since 1991 as a freelance journalist and author, writing primarily on art, culture and education. In 2000, Monika Wolz joined the special programs department at the Robert Bosch Foundation.


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