Born in Dublin, Alen MacWeeney began his career in Paris at twenty, as Richard Avedon’s assistant. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, LIFE, House & Garden, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine, GEO, Aperture, PEN, Camera International, and American Photographer.
His photographs are in the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the George Eastman House, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and others.
His books demonstrate artistry with interiors (Charleston: a Bloomsbury House and Garden; The Home of the Surrealists), countrysides (Stone Walls & Fabled Landscapes), portraits (Irish Travellers: Tinkers No More; Bloomsbury Reflections), and inner lives (Spaces for Silence).
MacWeeney’s work is distinguished by the painterly way he unveils the character of his subject through a wide range of emotion, from humor to drama. His portraiture is direct and apparently simple, his compositional touch and use of light complex. The camera never gets in the way, allowing a rare calm, a thoughtful repose, to enter each picture.
In 2001 MacWeeney directed a feature-length documentary, Traveller, which was broadcast on RTE and BBC-TV.
He is the exclusive photographer for custom publisher Hammond Editions.
“This is great work, with the power of Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus, but with a distinct MacWeeney insight.”
– Owen Edwards, Photography critic
“The pictures he took . . . have the intensity and poignancy of rediscovered love letters.”
– The New Yorker
“Alen MacWeeney’s photographs stand comparison with Edward Curtis’s masterly recuperation of the American Indian, and I can think of no higher praise than that.”
– John Banville, Booker Prize-Winner