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Pete Souza: Throw Shade, Then Vote

Exhibition: October 11th – December 8th, 2018

Opening Reception and Book signing: Thursday October 11th, 6 – 8 PM


Steven Kasher Gallery is pleased to present Throw Shade, Then Vote a solo exhibition of work by Pete Souza, former Chief Official White House Photographer. The exhibition features 13 photographs with texts that are portraits in Presidential contrasts. They tell a tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual/textual juxtapositions. Souza's unforgettable images of President Obama hold new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House. These works are based on Souza’s renowned Instagram feed, and are being exhibited to launch the publication of Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little Brown, October 16th). With this timely and important body of work, Shade demonstrates the power of photography to galvanize our emotions and encourage us to act.


As Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. His years photographing the President gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency--and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it. Souza's photographs are a rejoinder to the chaos, abuses of power, and destructive policies that now define our nation's highest office. They are a reminder of a man and a President we could believe in, a courageous defender of the highest American values.


When Pete Souza left the White House in 2017, he didn’t know what it meant to “throw shade”—but he started doing it almost immediately on his personal Instagram account, posting his photographs from the Obama years with captions that vividly define the contrast between the Obama White House and President Trump’s administration. Media organizations took notice of Souza’s posts. New York magazine called them “a master class in shade,” CNN described them as “a silent, social media, shade-throwing protest told in visuals,” and Politico named Souza “King of Instagram Shade.” Souza calls it telling the truth. His following on Instagram is now close to two million people.


Pete Souza has had solo exhibition of his photographs at the Leica Gallery in NYC, Kansas State University, Fermilab, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Navy Museum, The Kennedys Museum in Berlin, the University of North Carolina, Boston University, Ohio University and the National Press Club in Washington. His photographs have been included group exhibits at the National Archives, Smithsonian Museum of American History and Corcoran Gallery of Art.


Souza was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House Photo Office from 2009-2017. Previously Souza was a national photographer for the Chicago Tribune from 1998-2007, a freelancer for National Geographic and Life, and the Official White House Photographer for President Reagan from 1983-1989. His books include the New York Times bestseller The Rise of Barack Obama, which documents the president’s meteoric ascent from his first day in the United States Senate through the 2008 Pennsylvania presidential primary, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Obama: An Intimate Portrait. Souza is currently a based in Washington, DC, and is a Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication.

Pete Souza: Throw Shade, Then Vote will be on view October 11th – December 8th, 2018. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 515 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. For more information about the exhibition and all other general inquiries, please contact Cassandra Johnson, 212 966 3978,