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Alen MacWeeney was born in Dublin in 1939 and began his career as a photographer when he was only 16 years old. At that time, he worked as a press photographer for the Irish Times. At twenty, he began working as Richard Avedon’s assistant in Paris. Since the early 1960s, MacWeeney’s interest in photography has moved in two directions, that of commercial photography and personal photography with an artistic purpose. He resides in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Travel and Leisure, Fortune and in numerous other publications. He has received awards for excellence from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Advertising Club of New York, the Art Directors Club, the Society of Publication Designers, and the Advertising Photographers of America.
Ireland has been a core theme in MacWeeney’s work. These photographs are drawn from a limited-edition portfolio published in 1979.
What the pictures show, in part, is the way I look at things, and the way I think they are. What one chooses to photograph is a crucial issue to me. An image has no meaning for me unless it has some qualities beneath the surface. There is some remote instinct in me that provokes an interest for a certain picture – an unconscious recognition of something that I have thought about or felt, or of an attitude or state of mind. There must be something more going on than one can see. If there is nothing underneath whatever is depicted, the picture has no substance; it is thin and meaningless.
For more photos, check out Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More by Alen MacWeeney