Bucknell University Museum - Pause and Effect

June 21-October 9, 2016 Downtown Gallery, 416 Market St. Lewisburg This exhibition utilizes the Samek’s photography collection to explore how the minutiae of our everyday… read more

Bucknell University Museum - Pause and Effect


from David Seltzer Studio


Photographer David Seltzer announces the publication of his book, Knowledge of the Raw. Published by the fine art publisher Damiani Editore, the hardbound edition includes 140 photographs by Seltzer as well as a foreword by Eric Fischl.

In his foreword for the book, Fischl talks about why he finds Seltzer’s images so captivating: “From looking at the photographs in his monograph, Knowledge of the Raw, I imagine David Seltzer to be a man with a gruff and smoky voice, rough hands, and a demeanor that exudes impatience and passion. When I look at his photographs, I hear voices. I hear the voices in his head and I imagine a man who talks to himself loud enough and clear enough for us to overhear him.” “When you pick up his book, you can open it anywhere and page backwards or forwards. It doesn’t matter. The photos don’t follow a chronology or a sustained narrative. The book is more like a diary, a portrait of a life being lived. The photos are printed, painted, scrawled onto, scratched into, clawed at, and defaced. He uses black not as light or absence of light, but as mineral, as ore: physical, dense, sooty, not to be inhaled.”

The large-scale images, personal and frequently graphic, focus on issues of love, lust, aging, lives lived on the fringes. Working primarily with analog technology, Seltzer often layers his images by etching the negative itself, and/or by hand applying various toners or mixed media to the surface of the print, extending the viewer’s take on the image.

From the exhibition catalog “Rough Cuts,” Miles Barth, the founding curator of the permanent collection at the International Center for Photography, describes Seltzer’s modus operandi: "He holds the camera to his own life the way someone attempting suicide might point a gun to his head…Seltzer is not afraid to expose a raw nerve. The situations in his photographs dwell on emotions not often recorded and memories not usually retained. They are part documentary, part the author’s not-so-subtle commentary.”

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Seltzer graduated from the University of Missouri in 1970, with a degree in English and Psychology. Following graduation, Seltzer found himself searching for a creative outlet, and began teaching himself photography. In 1973 he moved to New York City to be closer to what he perceived to be the center of the photography world. Working as a taxi cab driver, Seltzer sought and was offered an assistant's job with Arnold Newman as well as Richard Avedon's studio. However, a meeting with Ralph Gibson and the milieu of the downtown art scene galvanized him into pursuing photography as a fine art rather than a commercial career.

Over the course of his career, Seltzer has been commissioned to shoot numerous album/CD covers for such musical luminaries as Van Halen, Suzanne Vega, Peter Wolf, and The Replacements, while continuing to pursue his art. In 1987 and again in 1990, John Szarkowski, the legendary curator of the Museum of Modern Art, purchased two of Seltzer’s large-scale photographs for the museum’s permanent collection, featuring one of the images as the Museum’s poster announcing the Recent Acquisitions exhibition.

Seltzer’s work is now included in numerous other public collections as well, including The International Center of Photography, the Norton Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Denver Art Museum, amongst others.

Knowledge of the Raw is available via, other online booksellers, and through the website of the publisher, Damiani Editore. It is also available at traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Knowledge of the Raw, by David Seltzer; published by Damiani Editore
Publication date (United States): September 29, 2015
For further information:;
To contact David Seltzer:; 607-437-2826
(images above: cover of Knowledge of the Raw; photographer David Seltzer)

Fall catalog from Damiani

Hunger TV article

Auctionata Invitation

Deborah Ripley, Director of Contemporary Art & Prints, and Miles Barth, renowned photography expert, request the pleasure of your company for an exclusive preview, Tuesday, November 17 at 6:30 pm, showcasing highlights from our upcoming auctions.

Internationally exhibited photographer, David Seltzer, will be available for a book signing of his recently published selection of photographs, Knowledge of the Raw. This compilation of photographs is a diary-like stream of consciousness, with raw images dealing with sexuality, religion, aging and the subconscious mind.

Auctionata is pleased to present both the Photography sale and Modern & Contemporary Art sale comprised of outstanding works from artists and photographers of the 20th century. Curated by photography expert Miles Barth, the Photography sale is highlighted by politically-charged social documentary and masterful works of street photographers. The Modern & Contemporary Art sale is led by an extraordinary selection of Surrealist, Pop and Contemporary art, in a variety of styles and media.

Works will be available for preview during business hours from November 12th through November 18th.

The reception and book signing will be held on Tuesday, November 17th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Fuller Building | 595 Madison Ave, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10022.

Photography: Friday, November 20, 2015 at 10 am EST
Modern & Contemporary Art: Friday, November, 20, 2015 at 12 pm EST

RSVP: or 212.899.1778

L'oeil de photographie