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Ethan James Green

Made To Last

A black-and-white portrait of a woman turning towards the camera in a flowy skirt

Made To Last is a collection of 20 images that span from 2016 to the present and represent a survey of the varied subjects and characters found within Green’s expanding body of work. From his earlier work until now, his photography has moved from documenting a close circle of intimates, often in the parks near his former Grand Street apartment, to the covers of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and other international titles. But just as his work was becoming more recognized, the global pandemic upended life as we knew it. Green’s determination to create pictures that would exist as a legacy deepened in this pause, even as he absorbed the very immediate upheaval around him. Made To Last is also a view of America in its current complexity, tenderness and possibility.

A black and white up-close portrait of Rupaul Andre Charles wearing makeup
Rupaul for Interview Magazine, 2019
A black and white photograph of a young boy in a plaid shirt smiles and holds a baby on his hip
Kids at Auntie Bren’s wedding, 2019


What Ethan James Green (b. 1990) endeavors to capture each time he picks up his camera is a picture that will speak singularly beyond the confines of the particular moment it is taken. Whether the subject is a public figure, an actor, a close friend or even an animal, the aim remains the same: to make work that will last and transcend the specificity of its origin.

Green, who grew up in a small town outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moved to New York at 18, where he has lived and worked since, is informed by these two opposing experiences. In these pictures, the warmth and sincerity of the Midwest is interwoven with the scale and dazzle of New York. From the ecstatic laughter of RuPaul to a stolen, giddy moment between a child and an infant at the wedding of Green’s aunt, it is a proposition that joy and nuance are as much a part of this country as its calcifying divisions. In this way, Made To Last builds upon the expanse and frankness inherent within the American photographic canon.

Ethan James Green’s distinctive eye for the personal, the spectacular and the essential beauty of his subjects has made him one of the most compelling photographers working today. The Michigan born, New York based photographer blends the unassuming honesty of his native midwest with the breadth and brilliance of his adopted city resulting in portraits of astonishing intimacy that capture and amplify the essence of his subjects. Working in themes such as contemporary identity, sexuality and style, he has built a body of work singular in its depth and point of view. Green’s work has appeared in such publications as Aperture, Arena Homme +, Dazed, i-D, L’Uomo Vogue, M le Monde, Perfect, Vogue Italia, Vogue, W, and WSJ Magazine. He has also collaborated with a range of fashion labels, among them Alexander McQueen, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Miu Miu, Prada, Tom Ford and Versace. Green’s first monograph, Young New York, was published by Aperture in 2019.