Lawrence D’Attilio - Biography
Photographer, classical musician, and aviator summarizes the careers of Lawrence D’Attilio, a native of New York City. He is a life-long professional fine art photographer who started to make photographs when he was eight years of age. For more than thirty years Lawrence has exhibited his large photograph prints and taught photography to hundreds of students through university’s continuing education programs. Lawrence received his undergraduate degree in fine arts from the University of Louisville and Ansel Adams influenced Lawrence’s interest in teaching after he attended Adam’s Yosemite Workshops.
Exhibitions have always been a part of Lawrence’s career with many solo events that have extended to Italy and Vietnam. His photographs have been published in magazines and newspapers while also being held in numerous collections As a result of his broad background in art, music and aviation, he has an interest in multi-discipline work too. Lawrence’s images give a sense of that often using diverse metaphors, complex spatial relationships and formal experiments. This has led him to some photograph projects that are constructed or employ three dimensional presentation methods.
The Vietnam projects summarize Lawrence’s interest in culture and behaviors. “My artwork has tended to look at life in various circumstances extracting icons that indicate the human passion for change. My father Anthony, also an artist, influenced me in understanding how art can reorder human comprehension through a metaphysical blend of behaviors, history, events and time.” Lawrence has been photographing in Vietnam since 2006 while living in the country for various periods for a total of sixteen months. His photography has taken him from the largest cities to the most remote locations where the ethnic minorities are located. During the six years of his relationship with Vietnam he has worked on several fine art projects there. These include a multi discipline collaborative installation work as well as the project that is the subject of the book and exhibit, The Soul of Vietnam: A Portrait of the North. With an earlier version of this project in 2008, he became the first foreign artist to be given direct permission by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture for a solo exhibit in Vietnam’s National Museum of Fine Art.
Lawrence adds other artistic, organizational, and philanthropic efforts to those of his photographic art work. As a member of a Rotary Club he has helped raise grants and donations for a micro finance program in Vietnam that supports the businesses of over one thousand rural women in provinces adjacent to Ha Noi. He also had a parallel career, with 31 years as a full time musician in major American symphony orchestras, that he ended in 1993 so he could focus his expression entirely on visual art. He is a licensed pilot with eight hundred hours of experience and was the founder of the international owner’s club for Bellanca and Champion manufactured airplanes.
As a resident artist he exhibited, photographed, and taught for five years at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. His other artist residencies were at Campus Hanoi in Vietnam in 2006-7, and at RedLine 2009-11. Lawrence is the original creator/founder of the Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA).
Earlier in his career he was the co-founder of the Bathhouse Gallery. The Bathhouse was one of the first fine art photography galleries in the U.S. It did solo exhibits for the well known contemporary artist photographers of the period including Ansel Adams, Paul Caponigro, Eugene Smith, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Jerry Uelsmann, and many others. A decade later Lawrence was president of the Photography Collectors Gallery, a subsidiary of the first mutual fund company to invest entirely in visual art, which he co-founded with two other photographers
Much of Lawrence’s work in Vietnam has been made possible by generous gifts from the Ford Foundation-Vietnam, two anonymous generous gifts, The Underwood Foundation, RedLine-Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Mary Nohl Suitcase Fund.