John Randolph Pepper (Rome, 1958) is an Italian-American photographer, screenwriter, actor, and theatre and film director, who comes from a family of established artists, such as sculptor Beverly Pepper, poet Jorie Graham, and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, who gave John his first camera, a Pentax, at the age of twelve.
Pepper developed under the influence of Henri Cartier Bresson, Sam Show, John Ross and David Seymour, who spent time in his family home. At only fourteen years of age he became assistant to Ugo Mulas, who, over a summer vacation from school, taught him the basics of Street Photography. For thirty years, Pepper dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film.
The photographic exhibition ‘Rome: 1969 – A Tribute to Neo-Realist Cinema’ brought him back to Italy where, in 2011, Lanterna Magica Edizioni published his first book of photographs, ‘Sans Papier’. Exhibitions were organized in Rome, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Paris and Palermo. In 2012 and 2013, Saint Petersburg’s Manège Museum put on 3 exhibitions of Pepper’s photographic works, and in Italy, in 2014, the Istituto Superiore per la Storia Della Fotografia published his book, ‘Evaporations’. After Palermo, the exhibition was presented at the Officina delle Zattere in Venice (14th Biennale di Architettura), at the Rosphoto State Museum and from 2015 to 2016 another nine important Russian museums.
Currently, Pepper is preparing his next photographic project (and book to be published in 2018) ‘Deserts / Droughts’, in which he explores deserts and their effects on time, history and people. Seeing these works, one wonders if the presence of man has changed the landscape, or if that landscape (the desert) has remained pure and untouched as it was before the advent of man.