James Gritz (USA) has always lived between worlds. From a young age, he was after something beyond this ordinary material world; comparative religion was his major at university. In photography, he is self-taught.
He started taking pictures of life around him when he was 18 and hasn’t put the camera down since. For James, photography offers a door to our inner experience and allows for creative ways to connect that to the world outside. He also sees photography as a tool for his Buddhist practice; it’s a way to join the flow of life moment by moment.
Much of his photographic career has involved underwater, nature, and landscape photography. Then came a shift to travel and street photography. In 2005 he spent six months in eastern Tibet working with a film crew photographing the monastic lives of the nuns of Nangchen. In 2008 he was hired by an important Tibetan lama of the Drugpa Kargyu school to photograph his extensive monasteries in India, Ladakh, Zangskar, Bhutan, and Nepal. He was able to merge his interest in Tibetan Buddhism with his love of photography. Other travels have taken him to Europe, Mexico, and the US, from Colorado to Alaska and Hawaii on land and sea.
James moved to Mexico in 2013. He has always felt the sangre of Mexico has moved through his veins. When he was younger he apprenticed for ten years with a Huichol Shaman who lived in Tepic, Nayarit. His name was Guadalupe Gonzales Rios. He made two pilgrimages every year. One was to Wirikuta, the sacred land of the Huichols near Real de Catorce, and the other to Mount Picacho, where it is said the spirit of the “Arbol de Viento” lives.
James' latest work involves a fusion of photographic images and textures. He is exploring how to convey the thin boundary between dreams and so-called waking reality. One could say that all perception is just a projection of mind, and that is what he is trying to convey with his current work.
The work of James Gritz has been published in numerous books and magazines and exhibited in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. His work is represented by Getty Images, Robert Harding, Glass House Images, and other photo agencies. He made a documentary film in India
called “Never Give Up”. The trailer can be viewed on YouTube. James has given street and travel workshops in Mexico, Europe and the United States. He is currently working on a book titled La Vida Mexicana.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: Outside Magazine, National Geographic (online), New Age Journal, Shambhala Sun, Worth, Diversion, Audubon, Bodhi Magazine, GEO, Stern, Oceans (Harper Collins-contributor and photo editor) and, Spirit of the Whale (Voyager Press), “The Book of Man” (Scribner 1994, cover photo), and many others.