Born in Freeport, New York, Lori Grinker became fascinated by photography as a teenager when her father brought home the new SX-70 Polaroid Land camera, which she first experimented with while taking a bubble bath.
In her first year of college, she fell in love with darkroom processes while studying with Harold Feinstein at Windham College in Vermont. Transferring to Parson’s School of Design, she studied with photo masters such as George Tice, Lisette Model and Bernice Abbot. It was, however, during a photojournalism class at Parson’s that her career began when her term project photographing young boxers – and a 13-year-old Mike Tyson – in Catskill, New York, was published in Inside Sports magazine.
Grinker left college when editorial assignments began to take her around the globe. In 2015 she returned to school getting an MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts where she expanded her practice to include mixed media, experimental and documentary film, as well as transmedia projects.
Her work has garnered many honors and awards, including, Orange County Arts Council; Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, NYFA Arts Grant; W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fellowship; Ernst Hass Grant; Open Society Community Engagement Grant; Hasselblad Foundation Grant; Center (Santa Fe) Project Grant and a World Press Foundation (1st Prize).
Grinker’s work has since been published around the world and exhibited in solo and group shows. She is the author of Mike Tyson, 1981-1991 (Powerhouse Books, October 2021). Afterwar; Veterans from a World in Conflict (de.MO 2004) and The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (Jewish Publication Society 1989). A multimedia memoir, Six Days from Forty, exploring the history of AIDS, gay rights and sexual identity is ongoing. Her newest work, All the Little Things employs still life and portrait photography to explore memory, loss and love. She is currently working on her first feature documentary film, The Charlie Show.
Lori is part-time faculty at The New School, Lang College and New York University’s Arthur L Carter Graduate School of Journalism. Grinker is a senior member of Contact Press Images. She lives and works in New York City and Newburgh, NY.