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Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

British, b. 1967

Over the course of a prolific career that has spanned more than 30 years, artist Jimmy Nelson has captured profound and enduring images of the world’s most remote tribes and indigenous peoples. His rich color photography, portraits and landscapes seek to tell the stories of many diverse cultures and explore the impact of the modern age on their traditions and life.

Nelson was born in 1967 in Sevenoaks, Kent, and spent his early childhood traveling the world with his father, a geologist. At the age of seven, Nelson was sent to a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, where he spent the next ten years of his life.

Nelson journeyed to Tibet in his late teens — he had lost all of his hair owing to an autoimmune disorder and thought that the Tibetan monks might be more accepting of his appearance than his affluent British classmates were. The year-long trip afforded him the opportunity to photograph the East Asian region, which had only recently opened its borders to foreigners. In 1988, Nelson’s images were published in several worldwide publications, garnering international acclaim. He secured assignments to cover a range of world events as a photojournalist — among them, Russia’s involvement with Afghanistan and the war in former Yugoslavia.

In 1994, Nelson and his wife, Ashkaine, embarked on an ambitious project titled “Literary Portraits of China,” which captured images of what were then the country’s lesser seen corners. It took 40 months to complete, and his photos were later exhibited at the People’s Palace in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Later, Nelson traveled the globe to not only document indigenous cultures through his figurative photography but to discover how they were surviving in the contemporary world. This project resulted in his first book, Before They Pass Away. It was published in 2013 and an expanded edition debuted in 2020. The Jimmy Nelson Foundation was established in 2016 in order to raise awareness about the subjects of Nelson’s photography. Homage to Humanity, which features hundreds of photos of indigenous people all over the world, was published in 2018.

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Artist: Jimmy Nelson
Jimmy Nelson - XIX 330 // XIX Tibet, Photography 2011
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
"XIX 330 v- Buddhist Monks - Ganden Monastery - Tibet, 2011 The approximate 5.5 million Tibetans are an ethnic group with specific traditions. Archaeological and geological discover...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Photographic Paper, C Print, Digital Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXII 3 // XXII China, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXII 3 Longhorn Miao In the Southern Chinese province of Guiyang there is a small number of exceptionally remote and traditional villages of the Miao people. The second one Jimmy vi...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXII 2 // XXII China, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXII 2 Longhorn Miao In the Southern Chinese province of Guiyang there is a small number of exceptionally remote and traditional villages of the Miao people. The first one Jimmy vis...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXIV 2 // XXIV India, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXIV 2 Sadhu's in Ganges Sadhus (meaning ‘good men’) are devoutly religious Hindus living throughout India. They wear orange clothes representing the colour of the fire in which the...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXII 4 // XXII China, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXII 4 LangDe Miao Village In the Southern Chinese province of Guiyang there is a small number of exceptionally remote and traditional villages of the Miao people. The first one Jim...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXV 2 // XXV South Sudan, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXV 2 Bero, Mundari, Mayong South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation – it became independent in 2011, after Sudan was torn apart by violence. The legacy of these unstable years co...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXVI 1 // XXVI French Polynesia, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXVI 1 Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands Having been fascinated by traditional bodily decoration for many years, it was no wonder that Jimmy would eventually end up photographing the Marque...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXIV 9 // XXIV India, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXIV 9 Sadhu, Haridwar Sadhus (meaning ‘good men’) are devoutly religious Hindus living throughout India. They wear orange clothes representing the colour of the fire in which they ...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXIV 11 // XXIV India, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXIV 11 Sadhu, Haridwar, India 2016 Sadhus (meaning ‘good men’) are devoutly religious Hindus living throughout India. They wear orange clothes representing the colour of the fire i...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXVI 5 // XXVI French Polynesia, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXVI 5 Te Pua O Feani, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands French Polynesia Having been fascinated by traditional bodily decoration for many years, it was no wonder that Jimmy would ...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXVI 2 // XXVI French Polynesia, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXVI 2 Te Pua O Feani, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands French Polynesia Having been fascinated by traditional bodily decoration for many years, it was no wonder that Jimmy would...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXVIII 53 // XXVIII Wodaabe, Chad, Photography 2018
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
"The nomadic Wodaabe community belong to the Fulani ethnic group, who are distributed across at least ten North-African countries. Chad is home to many of the Wodaabe. Far from the c...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXXIX 2 // XXXIX Siberia, Nenets, Photography 2018
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
XXXIX 2, Pavel & Jello Khudi, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district, Siberia 2018 It seems implausible that people could survive the extreme blizzards, sunless days and excruciatingly l...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Ink, Archival Paper

Jimmy Nelson - XXVIII 33 // XXVIII Wodaabe, Chad, Photography 2018
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
"XXVIII 33 Ousman Gambo, Wodaabe, Sudosukai clan The nomadic Wodaabe community belong to the Fulani ethnic group, who are distributed across at least ten North-African countries. Ch...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXVIII 24 // XXVIII Wodaabe, Chad, Photography 2016
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
"XXVIII 24 Wursak, Soedoe Soechay The nomadic Wodaabe community belong to the Fulani ethnic group, who are distributed across at least ten North-African countries. Chad is home to m...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

Jimmy Nelson - XXIX 24 // XXIX Bhutan, Photography 2018
By Jimmy Nelson
Located in Greenwich, CT
"XXIX 24 Chele La pass, Paro Bhutan 2016 Bhutan’s verdant valleys filled with fluttering prayer flags are surrounded by the high, snow-peaked mountains that have helped isolate the...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jimmy Nelson Figurative Photography

Materials

Archival Pigment

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Jimmy Nelson figurative photography for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Jimmy Nelson figurative photography available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Jimmy Nelson in pigment print, archival pigment print, paper and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 21st century and contemporary and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Jimmy Nelson figurative photography, so small editions measuring 25 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Miles Aldridge, Clare Marie Bailey, and Patty Carroll. Jimmy Nelson figurative photography prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,939 and tops out at $5,006, while the average work can sell for $5,006.

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