The Artist

Michael Alvin Penn, 46, is the son of the late industrial artist and photographer, Alvin Penn. He currently resides in Philadelphia.

After his first solo photo exhibition at Silicon Gallery in Philadelphia, Michael launched his new career by shooting contemporary and classic architecture in and around Philadelphia. It was during this time, his Benjamin Franklin Bridge Portfolio was gaining National and Global recognition.

Since that first solo show, Michael has gone on to exhibit in nine group shows from Manhattan to Santiago Chile and his work was purchased for the permanent collections of The Wharton Business School in Philadelphia, PA and The Philadelphia Eagles Football Organization.

Michael’s growing interest in the photography of W. Eugene Smith, William Klein, and Takuma Nakahira slightly altered his views about his own work. It was the 2009 lecture and meeting of Daido Moriyama that was the catalyst for a change in his photographic gears that lead to The Philadelphia Project: 1000 Photos on the Streets of Philadelphia.  The project was a self-published series of 40 zine-style books (25 full bleed images) that documented Philadelphia at the start of its gentrification process. The books, in editions of 50, each month for 36 months, sold out. Copies are in holdings at MOMA and The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The announcement that Little Pete’s is in danger of redevelopment, added a sidebar to Michael’s career. Little Pete’s is a full color series, whereas his other portfolios are mostly black & white photography.