Born in Virginia, Brian Rose AR’79 moved to New York City in 1977 to attend The Cooper Union. Previously, he attended the University of Virginia school of architecture where he majored in urban design.
At Cooper he studied with Joel Meyerowitz, one of the pioneers of color photography, along with photographer Larry Fink, painter Jake Berthot, filmmakers Robert Breer and D.A. Pennebaker, conceptual artist Hans Haacke, and art historian Dore Ashton.
In 1980, he and fellow Cooper graduate Edward Fausty photographed the Lower East Side of Manhattan, supported by a New York State CAPS grant, and later participated in a photographic survey of the Financial District, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 1985 Rose began photographing the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. That project has continued to the present, chronicling the fall of the Wall and the rebuilding of Berlin. His book The Lost Border, The Landscape of the Iron Curtain was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2004.
From 1993 to 2007 Rose lived in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In 1998 he photographed the Mercatorplein neighborhood with its immigrant population and Amsterdam School architecture. That work, supported by the Netherlands Architecture Fund, was published as Mercatorplein, Image of a World in Amsterdam.
In the mid-2000s Rose began re-photographing the Lower East Side of New York. Time and Space on the Lower East Side was published in 2010. Two companion books have followed — Metamorphosis, about the Meatpacking District, and WTC, a chronicle of the Twin Towers and the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.
Most recently Rose has undertaken a project about Atlantic City. In a series of urban landscape images, Rose portrays Atlantic City as a metaphor for America’s dysfunctional politics. Atlantic City was published in 2019 by Circa Press.
Rose’s images have been collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and most recently, Dillon + Lee Gallery in New York. He lives in New York with his wife, urban planner Renée Schoonbeek.
Rose is presently a council member of the Cooper Union Alumni Association, and he was previously chairman of the Cooper Square Committee, a housing advocacy group located in the East Village. Rose is also a songwriter, and in 1982 was co-founder of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, a monthly recording of New York-based songwriters, which is now archived by the Smithsonian. As a teenager, Rose was a member of the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, which performed during his tenure for two presidents and numerous heads of state and dignitaries.
Links to Reviews and Articles
• The New York Times (review) 1981• Coincidences (review) 2004 • B – Rumblings from the Photographic Hinterlands (review) 2010
• CityLab (article and interview) 2014
• The New Yorker (article) 2016
• The Guardian (article) 2019
• Hyperallergic (review) 2019
Atlantic City, is the latest book authored by Brian Rose
Atlantic City is published by Circa Press 2019. Here Atlantic City is described by Brian:
When Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, I knew immediately that I needed to do something as an artist and photographer. A few days later, I drove down to Atlantic City on a hunch that this place, the epitome of Trumpian dystopia, would serve as a metaphor for the overall state of affairs in the United States.
I started by photographing Trump’s failed casinos, and then moved to the ravaged neighborhoods adjacent to these architectural behemoths. Rather than saving a faded Atlantic City, the casinos have sucked the life-blood out of its veins and enriched grifters like Donald Trump. The result is Atlantic City, a book about a city – and a country – teetering on the edge.