Mason Hershenow is a photographer, writer, and institutional critic working to highlight redundant and exclusionary systems in academic art and beyond.
Influenced by the tools we build and use to interact with ourselves, each other, and the world around us, Hershenow's work focuses on the relationship — and distance — between contemporary photography and the academic art world. Originally trained as a straight photographer, Hershenow’s practice frequently blends candid, often personal images with elements of modernist design, traditional and contemporary typesetting, and the use and misuse of academic language in order to challenge the viewer’s notions of who and what establishes expertise and validity in galleries, lecture halls, and other formal spaces. Far from an anti-academic, Hershenow’s goal is to use institutional critique as a means of illuminating and weakening the most harmful mechanisms of exclusion built into contemporary academic, artistic, and social systems.
Hershenow is a northern California native. He earned his Bachelor of Art in photography from Sacramento State University in 2014, and will graduate in August 2020 with a Master of Fine Art in photography from San José State University, where he has also taught a number of introductory photography courses. He is currently represented by Sylvan Gallery in Sand City, CA.
A full artist CV is available at the bottom of this page. Business or collaboration inquireries may be forwarded here.
Select Group Exhibitions
Select Features and Publications