What matters to you.

Benedict Fernandez

documentary photographer

Benedict J. Fernandez was born on April 5, 1936 in New York City, in the Hispanic neighborhood of East Harlem. Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary art director and graphic designer, invited him to enroll in his Design Laboratory and became Fernandez's most influential mentor. Brodovitch arranged for Ben to become the darkroom tech and manager at Parsons School of Design. Nobody could have imagined in those very early days what a significant role Ben would eventually play at Parsons. With Brodovitch's encouragement Ben went on to found the Photo Film Workshop, in the basement of Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. The Photo Film Workshop taught photography to ghetto youth, free of charge. Many of the workshop participants went on to successful careers and lives.