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“John Offenbach’s project for the photography book, Jew, is largely inspired by August Sander’s People of the 20th Century.”
A number of years ago whilst on an assignment in Brooklyn, New York, in a casual conversation, I discovered to my surprise that there were up to 20 Jews on death row. And while discussing the polemical question, ‘where is normal?’ I realised the answer resided with the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. In order to properly reflect on this group of people it had to include not just the great and the good, but also the homeless Jew as well as the rich Jew. The incarcerated Jew as well as the law abiding, the religious as well as the secular. As much of life’s miscellany as I could.

The project has taken four years and to date I have been to twelve countries including Azerbaijan, Argentina, China, India, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Austria and Morocco. Each portrait is titled not by a name but rather a job or another qualifier. So for example; Spy, Rape Victim, Nobel Laureate, Refuse Collector. An unadorned snapshot that challenges the received view of world Jewry.

John Offenbach

John Offenbach is a London-based award-winning photographer who began his career in 1994. From his North London studio he has been commissioned to photograph advertising campaigns for a range of clients including American Airlines, American Express and IBM as well as car clients including Chrysler, BMW, Volvo and Bentley. In 2019, a four-year personal project entitled Jew comprising 120 portraits of Jews from 12 countries was published by Skira Editore in Milan, of which 34 original prints were exhibited at the Jewish Museum, London. In July 2019 the book, Jew, won first prize at the IPA (International Photography Awards) in New York.