Seph Lawless, is a pseudonymous American-based Photographer, Artist, Published Author, Political Activist, Huffpost contributor and photojournalist who is best known for his extensive documentation of abandoned places all over the world. His satirical musings and subversive epigrams combine dark humor along with his work.
That’s what wikipedia says about me, but there’s always more to the story.
I’m the published author, activist, photographer and globally recognized explorer Seph Lawless. CNN calls my work poignant and ABC News refers to me as a rogue photojournalist capturing a reality that most people never knew existed.
“Sometimes words just aren’t enough so I started taking pictures.”- Seph Lawless (NBC’s Today Show)
I’ve been documenting the most forgotten places throughout America and listening to the compelling personal stories of people who still live in these places. Their stories and experiences are part of an untold chapter of American history that needs to be heard.
BBC News writer and friend Michael Goldfarb wrote the foreword to my bestselling book, “Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation,” which was released last May. In it, he recounts how I predicted Trump would win the US presidential election months before it happened. This foresight was thanks to my extensive travels throughout the Rust Belt region. I took the time to listen to the people living in this area when not many others wanted to do so.
Sharing my interesting photos, perspective and words about these experiences resonates with the over half a million followers and fans across my social media platforms, which includes musicians, politicians, journalists and Hollywood celebrities like Mark Ruffalo.
“I want Americans to see what is happening to their country from the comfort of their suburban homes and smart phones.”- Seph Lawless (ABC News)
In recent years, I’ve been interviewed and reported on by many media outlets throughout the world. Many times using my voice in interviews to further raise awareness to social, economic and environmental issues effecting our country.
I currently freelance for CNN, NBC News, ABC News, Vice News and The Weather Channel. Over the years, I’ve been hired to document the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophic events.
In 2015, I helped launched one of the first television shows that appeared on Vice’s television network, VICELAND, and appeared on its most watched episode ever called, “Ghost Mall” for the series “Abandoned.” Later that year, I was voted the Most Interesting Person of 2015 by Cleveland Magazine.
My mission and work is appreciated in the academic world. I routinely get hired to speak at high schools, universities and corporate events about my work.
I am a published author that has released ‘Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation’ and ‘Abandoned: The World’s Most Hauntingly Beautiful Deserted Theme Parks’
In 2016, My European Art Exhibition of photos entitled ‘Autopsy of America’ opened in Munich, Germany where I spoke opening night to the hundreds of people in attendance, which included street artist BANKSY.
In 2017, I was asked by Arianna Huffington to become an ongoing contributor for the Huffington Post. Later that year, I negotiated a five-year agreement with New York’s City’s Skyhorse Publishing, which gives them the exclusive rights to produce my next five book titles.
In 2018, I signed an entertainment contract with the largest production company in the United States to produce a documentary television series. The theatrical series will follow me as I travel and explore the most abandoned places in the world. Additionally, I signed a contract with the Neff Clothing Company, along with Kevin Durant and Snoop Dogg, to design a clothing line that will be using my images in select T-shirt designs.
“This isn’t social media. This is a social movement.”-Seph Lawless (CNN)
Art is the most effective weapon to fight injustice. Art combined with Activism equals Artivism. An Artivist will fight against injustice by using a brush, a pen, a lens or any artistic medium necessary even their own body.
I’m proud to be an American but I’m not always proud of my county. I believe it’s the artists responsibility to use art as a weapon to combat those ills. Art is much too powerful not to fully engage it, even exploit it, if it means the betterment of humanity.
I believe that the United States has behaved imperialistic in its role as a superpower. It has abused its power and influence throughout the world. We have been inattentive in relationships with our neighbors, especially our poorer neighbors. I believe this problem is fundamentally rooted in racism and greed. I believe we merit severe criticism for that moral failure and it is our responsibility to help change that.
Art is a weapon and we are all weapons of mass creation.
We live in a world in which everything is a brand that has devolved down to merely a symbol. That symbol is still nonetheless essential to me, but I’m not a commodity. I represent a proposal to something different. To me my brand means nonconformity against the status quo and promotes activism through the use of artistic mediums.
I grew up in Ohio. I’m the son of a Mexican immigrant father who worked very hard and eventually retired from the Ford Motor Company before its collapse. My mother was homemaker who worked odd jobs to help keep the family afloat. My older brother is a history teacher. My younger sister fell victim to the opioid epidemic before she started her new addiction of gardening vegetables. In other words, we are the quintessential portrait of the modern American family.
My major in college was sociology before dropping out and becoming a business entrepreneur. I created a successful business within the private sector and later sold that company to investors.
I’m socially liberal on many issues and conservative on spending. I’m an independent voter and think the two-party political system has largely failed the American people.
One time, my lawyer turned to me in the lobby of a courthouse and whispered, “Don’t ever hang around people who have less than you.” I slowly turned to him, paused and grinned before leaning in close and whispering, “I guess I’m not built that way. I spend most of my days around people who have less then me because they’re interesting and not quite as boring as you.” We later won our case. Ironically, my lawyer and I eventually became close friends, even though I have far less than him. His name is Larry Zuckerman.
I’m currently writing this as I’m sitting in the airport about to fly out to London to explore and to continue to raise awareness to issues that I’m passionate about. The man sitting next to me just burped and it tasted like indigested meat. The lady sitting across from me has a birthmark on her arm that resembles Captain Crunch. These are some of the subtle nuances of my journey that create an empathic strike between myself and my supporters.
Thank you for following along with me on this journey.
His photographs of abandoned malls and factories have gotten attention all over the world. Seph Lawless’ collection of pictures that present the American landscape in a way you have never seen before. -Fox News