Born in New Rochelle, New York in 1937, Charles Steinhacker studied to be a centerfielder. His pursuit of that position led through such learned institutions as Dartmouth College and New York University. The academic trail produced a master’s degree but no job offers to work at Yankee Stadium. Thus, at age 26, Steinhacker reluctantly traded in his bat for a camera and began the first of two photography careers.
From 1963 to 1977 Charles Steinhacker was a “working photographer” whose pictures of the American landscape and its wildlife became well known from their publication in Life, National Geographic and many other leading magazines. It was also during this period that he published three large-format books of his photographs which established his reputation as one of the leading conservation photographers in the country.
Nonetheless, weary of battling with editors and publishers and compromising his aesthetic ideals, Steinhacker walked away from the profession at the height of his career in order to become a commodity futures trader. From a hill-top home overlooking Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Teton Mountains, he traded gold, silver and soybean futures for ten years while secretly planning his return to photography - but this time on his terms.
That day arrived in 1987 when Steinhacker moved back to New England to be a fine art photographer. Throughout the 1990’s he quietly and anonymously added to what had already been a significant body of work from the earlier period. And throughout the process his vision became ever more abstract. In his own words: “My mind, what’s left of it, is filled with lines and rhythms, shapes and colors. When those mental images discover their concrete counterparts in the world at large through my camera’s lens, a vital connection takes place for me that rivals any ‘high’ that life can offer.” To this photographer, it is the emotional lightning rods of form and color that win out every time over the cerebral content of an image. “Photography is a visual art. Clever-clever is no contest for a ‘drop dead’ magenta blue. If I wanted to tell a story...then I’d become a writer. And as for black and white, I guess I just don’t ‘get it.’ We live in a world filled with a glorious tapestry of colors. Why would you want to see in shades of gray? It would be like playing centerfield in the dark.”
These are the first print editions of a major photographer. They are the highlights of a life in (and out of) photography that has spanned more than 40 years. From the previsualized and ethereal “Running Elk” to the bold, saturated simplicity of “Aroostook Barn” right up to the most recent pure abstractions of “New Mexico Landscape” and “Storm on the Great Plains,” these exquisite giclée editions are but highlights of an artisitic vision that has remained stubbornly and distinctly his own.