Self portraits in empty theater, by Jonathan Calm

Jonathan Calm

Jonathan Calm is a visual artist in the media of photography and video, and assistant professor at Stanford University.

His earlier work focuses on the relationship between technologies of representation and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities. His exploration of the socio-cultural, historical and geopolitical imprint of public housing on both sides of the Atlantic puts into perspective, questions and implodes the white utopian legacy of European Modernism to reveal hidden narratives and forgotten participants.

More recently, Calm has pointed his critical eye toward the representation of Black (auto)mobility, exposing how the mythical promise of a boundless journey across the land often masks a more compromised reality for African Americans. Through a varied array of media, he creates complex images of the Black American experience on the road as a precarious privilege rather than an inalienable right.

Portrait of artist Jonathan Calm
Play Video
Photographing Jim Crow-Era 'Green Book' Locations

Selected Work

Artist News

Person emerging from trap door on ladder

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Sea Change: Photographs from the Collection

September 2, 2023–March 17, 2024

Self portrait in period dress on an empty train, by Jonathan Calm
Resent Museum Acquisitions


Toledo Museum of Art

Landscape image of lake and sky with broken stone barrier, by Jonathan Calm




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