UPwithART 2.0 (online) Art & Activism Panelist
Jeff Bierk is a self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist, working with photography, sculpture, video and paint. Born to the late artists, Liz and David Bierk, he grew up in Peterborough, Ontario and learned the basics of photography and composition from this father. Jeff spent the majority of his teens and twenties lost to the opiate epidemic, addicted to OxyContin.
He currently works as a salesperson at Downtown Camera, one of the last camera stores in Toronto, and is deeply committed to his community in downtown central east of Toronto. His work has been exhibited nationally, engaging themes that grapple with grief, addiction, homelessness, and settler colonial constructs of beauty and masculinity.
Predominantly known for his portraiture, Bierk’s work poses serious questions about the ethics of street photography. Through a practice of collaborative photography, Bierk and his collaborators disrupt the formal definition and economics of photojournalism, and problematize the idea of the photographer as sole author of the photograph.