Richard Rapfogel traded a 25 year career as a psychologist for the full-time pursuit of his 40 year passion for photography. His work was featured in a month-long solo show at the Aikon Gallery in New York City, and he has had winning images in Photography Review, Photographers Forum, the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, Pictory, the Banff International Photo Competition, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, and in the ASiA Competition, along with numerous publications.
Richard Rapfogel lives in Boone, North Carolina with his wife, Diane Mines, and daughter Lucy.
In photographing my world I both observe and participate in it, creating images that reveal a common artistic impulse: to participate in life by looking, to allow oneself to be touched and influenced by what one sees, to articulate that experience, and, hopefully, to illuminate it. My photographs reflect not only “what’s out there,” but also who I am, how I see, and what I make of what I see. The physical record of those moments of living allows me to share them and, perhaps more fundamentally, to re-experience them.
The opportunity to “take a second look” at my experiences is among the more sublime pleasures of photography, because in that process I often see more deeply than I find possible in the blur of time. It is this process, rather than the specific content of any given image, that moves me to lift the camera to my eye. I shoot what I resonate to, and that is why my images are so varied, ranging from portrait to landscape, from figurative to abstract.
In my prior career as a psychotherapist, I often perceived strengths in my clients where they believed they had none. This incongruity was a catalyst for their re-examination of what they had thought to be “truths” about themselves. As a photographer, too, I tend to see beauty – and irony and humor and pain and dignity – in aspects of life that might otherwise pass as mundane. Often my subjects differ greatly from myself in culture and convention. Yet it is the human relationship shared between us that is recorded on film. I hope that each image embraces that moment of connection and, in the revealed pentimento, sheds light on its depth.
AWARDS, EXHIBITIONS, PUBLICATIONS...
(Images referenced below may be viewed in the "Award Winners" gallery.)
- Palais de Glace (Buenos Aires) Biennial Exhibition. Richard Rapfogel’s image “Agasthiyar Falls Woman” was selected for inclusion in the World Photography Biennial Exhibition to be held in Buenos Aires’ Palais de Glace in January and February, 2012.
- Pictory Showcase: Local Legends (2011). Richard Rapfogel’s image “Mr. Wiili at Home” was chosen for inclusion in Pictory’s (http://www.pictorymag.com) “Local Legends” showcase.
- Pictory Showcase: Handmade (2011). Richard Rapfogel’s image “Krishnapuram Colony Weaver” was chosen for inclusion in Pictory’s (http://www.pictorymag.com) “Handmade” showcase.
- Worldwide Photography Gala Awards Portrait and People competition (2011). “Agasthiyar Falls Man” won a Gold award in the WPGA competition, for which 7560 images were submitted from 57 countries.
- Photographer's Forum Best of Photography 2011 Annual. The image “Agasthiyar Falls Man” was chosen for inclusion in the Photographer's Forum Best of Photography 2011 Annual.
- WPGA Annual Pollux Awards (2010). With 18,912 images received from 65 countries, “Agasthiyar Falls Woman” won First Prize in the People category in the WPGA Annual Pollux Awards competition.
- Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition 2008. Richard Rapfogel was the first place winner in two categories in the 2008 Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. His photograph entitled Rainy Woods - Through the Window won first prize in the Landscape category; and his 360° panorama, Rough Ridge 360 won first prize in the Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas category. There were more than 800 submissions for this year's competition. Rapfogel has won at least one First Prize in four of the five years during which the competition has taken place (he was a judge in the 2007 Competition and ineligible to submit).
- Photo Review 2006 Annual International Photography Competition. Richard Rapfogel's image, Child Laborer, Calcutta, was chosen for inclusion in the prestigious 2006 Photo Review Annual Competition. The image was chosen by juror Philip Brookman, Senior Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
- Photographer's Forum Best of Photography 2006 Annual. The image “Junk Car, South Dakota” was chosen for inclusion in this year's Photographer's Forum Annual from among some 20,000 entries.
- Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition 2006. Richard Rapfogel was the first place winner in the Landscape category in the 2006 Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition for his photograph entitled Forest Panorama - Howard's Creek. There were more than 600 submissions for this year's competition. Rapfogel has won at least one First Prize in each of the first three years of this competition.
- Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition 2005. Richard Rapfogel was the first place winner in the Culture category in the 2005 Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition for his photograph of a mandolin player in a music "jam" at the Todd General Store, Todd, North Carolina. He also won second place in the Flora and Fauna category for his photograph "Crawdad in Howard's Creek".
- Banff International Photography Competition, 2004. Richard Rapfogel's image of Two Women in Agasthiyar Falls (Tamilnadu, India) won Special Mention in the Banff International Photography Competition -- one of twelve winning images out of some 3000 entries.
- Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition 2004. Richard Rapfogel won grand prize in the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition for an image of the late folk artist, William Armstrong, entitled "Mr. Willi at Home". In addition Rapfogel was the first place winner in the Landscape and Culture categories and second place in the Flora and Fauna category with images entitled respectively "Beaver Pond Ice," "Easter at the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church," and "Fallen Tree."
- Palais de Glace Biennial Exhibition, Buenos Aires. Richard Rapfogel’s image “Agasthiyar Falls Woman” was selected for inclusion in the World Photography Biennial Exhibition to be held in Buenos Aires’ Palais de Glace in January and February, 2012.
- Aicon Gallery New York, 206 Fifth Avenue, New York City. A solo show entitled "Humanscapes: Photography of India by Richard Rapfogel" appeared at Gallery ArtsIndia in Manhattan. Consisting of 34 images (and occupying 150 feet of gallery wall space), the show received enthusiastic reviews.
- Mazie Jones Gallery. "Water Water Everywhere" Group Show. Richard Rapfogel participated in an invitational group show of images with water-related themes at the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Watauga County (North Carolina) Arts Council in Boone, North Carolina. The show exhibited twelve of Rapfogel's images from the U.S., Sweden, Germany, and India.
- Ashe County Arts Council. "Stark Contrasts" Group Show. Two Rapfogel photographs were included in an invitational group show by the Ashe County (North Carolina) Arts Council, featuring black and white imagery in a variety of media. Rapfogel's contributions, Beaver Pond Ice and a "wall" image from Lund, Sweden, although color photographs, were chosen because of the stark monotone of their subject matter.
- Progressive Grounds, San Francisco. A solo show entitled "India - Recent Photographs by Richard Rapfogel" appeared at Progressive Grounds, San Francisco, California.
- The Jones House. The Mazie Jones Gallery of the Watauga Country Arts Council's Jones House featured a solo show of Richard Rapfogel's photography during the month of January, 2003, entitled "Photographs of India -- the Photography of Richard Rapfogel."
- Fierce Gods. Many images by Richard Rapfogel are included in Diane Mines' book, Fierce Gods: Inequality, Ritual, and the Politics of Dignity in a South Indian Village.
- Clearwater Review. Cover photo for literary journal.
- Everyday Life in South Asia. Richard Rapfogel photographs included in cover art of Everyday Life in South Asia, edited by Diane Mines and Sarah Lamb.
- Encyclopedia of South Asian Folklore. Richard Rapfogel photographs chosen to illustrate many entries in the Encyclopedia of South Asian Folklore.
- Recentering: Culture and Knowledge in Conflict Resolution Practice. Cover photograph.
- Parents’ Lives, Children’s Needs. Cover photograph.
- Tumblr Radar Image (2011). Richard Rapfogel’s Pictory image “Krishnapuram Colony Weaver” was selected as the “Radar” image for Tumblr.com and was subsequently republished on more than 5000 websites.
- Forest Panorama chosen for stage set. A 33-foot print of "Forest Panorama - Howard's Creek" was chosen as the stage set for a production of the play "The Dispute" , by Pierre Marivaux mounted by the Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant. Richard Rapfogel was awarded a 2003 Regional Artist Project Grant by the Arts Councils of Western North Carolina for development of a book featuring his "Walls" photographs in India and elsewhere.
- Hands Gallery, Boone, North Carolina. Richard Rapfogel was juried-in as a member of Hands Gallery, an artist-owned cooperative gallery in Boone, NC.