On September 30th, 2011 I went to Zuccotti Park to investigate the Occupy Wall Street protest that began on the 17th. I was immediately impressed with the energy and the dedication of the participants. The sense that the protest had the potential to be historically significant was overwhelming.

I made an immediate decision to record the protest. I did not have the luxury of waiting to see if the protest would actually realize its political and cultural potential. I thought that by the time we are able to properly contextualize this action, the opportunity to record it will be gone.

The diversity of the participants and the range of their activities was so great that I felt it important to be able to consider each protester as an individual. Each protester had come to Zuccotti Park as an individual not as a faceless member of a cause. And, as I wanted to be able to see each of them as clearly as possible, I knew that I had to gather as much information as I could. This meant using a large format camera. This is not just a traditional film camera, but a film camera that uses individual sheets as opposed to rolls. I used a 4x5 camera mounted on a tripod. Although the camera is slow to operate, the time it took to set up and adjust provided an opportunity for the subject to become comfortable and be fully present when I tripped the shutter.


Collections which have acquired Atlas:

Whitney Museum

New York Public Library

The Bohen Foundation

Wellesley College

Princeton University



Collections which have acquired other pieces of Shepp’s work:

Museum of Modern Art

Art Institute of Chicago

The Victoria and Albert

Museum of Fine Arts (Houston)

Museum of the City of New York

Sprint Corporate Collection

Ariel Capital Group


Selected Solo Exhibitions:

Whitney Museum - Tunnel Visions

Chicago Cultural Center - Leaf Work

Martha Schneider Gallery - First Totems: the women and children



Selected Group Exhibitions:

Art Institute of Chicago - About Face

Victoria and Albert - Photography Gallery

Brooklyn Museum - Committed to the Image

Anacostia Museum/Smithsonian Institution - Reflections in Black



Selected Publications:

Financial Times, by Claire Holland, April 30, 2008.

Harper's Nov. 2002, pp. 35-40.

Committed to the Image , ed. Barbara Millstein, Brooklyn Museum and Merrel, 2001.

Sunday Review: Independent on Sunday, July 30, 2000 (London), pp. 1,3,13-17.

Reflections in Black , by Deborah Willis, WW Norton, 2000.

Family of Black America , ed. Deborah Willis, Crown, 1996.

New York Times, by Sarah Boxer, August 29, 1997, p. B24.

New York Times, by Vivien Raynor, February 25, 1996, section 13 p. 1.

New York Times, by Monique P. Yazigi, January 22, 1995, p. 13.

Village Voice, by Vince Aletti, December 14, 1993 p. 80.

Village Voice, by Vince Aletti, May 7, 1991, p. 98.

Village Voice, by Vince Aletti, May 22, 1990.