Irwin Lewis is a San Francisco-based photographer, a Native American born in southern California but raised on a reservation (rez) known as Gila River. Tribe, O’othom (Pima). Capturing the light of stories and portriats around San Francisco, CA and in Japan. Inspired by different cultures and his culture, Irwin’s construct of how he was raised gave him a vision. A vision of how he photographs a story or a person, that is within the same visualization but it is different in expression. His only purpose is to make photographs, not just to take them.
Before Irwin became a photographer he was a skateboarder and a musician. Skateboarding and music was a way for him to get away from the drugs, alcoholics, gangs, and the undesirables that diluted the rez. After graduating high school he met Douglas Miles, an Apache Native artist from the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Miles founded Apache Skateboards and Irwin, a team member at the time. Traveled throughout the United States skateboarding and teaching the youth how to skateboard. In his travels, the lands he visited inspired Irwin and the people he met along the way, he found his pathway to become a photographer.
“My mental construct of this world, how I see it and live it. Has always given my soul and mind strength, inspired by culture and the idea of how people have to live in two worlds, the modern world and the traditional world.” – Irwin Lewis
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