Photographer Larry Sultan (1946- 2009) is internationally recognized for psychologically charged images presented in an intimate documentary style. Though he moved to the Bay Area in 1971, Sultan’s work remained deeply inspired by his suburban upbringing in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Sultan constantly pushed the boundaries of his documentary style, often incorporating ephemera, archival, and found imagery in his work. Complete with a rare self-portrait of the artist as ‘the sailor,’ this seldom-seen series is an example of Sultan’s playful sense of humor and interest in constructed narratives that blur boundaries between reality and fiction.
Larry Sultan’s work is included in the collections of major museums around the country including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, SFMoMA, and LACMA. He served as Professor of Photography for 20 years, first at the San Francisco Art Institute and then at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He and his family often summered in Bolinas. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946, he passed away at his home in Greenbrae, California in 2009.