Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Breakthrough Jew – Seth Kushner

Kushner is an award-winning photographer and creator of ‘Schmuck’, a graphic novel.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: April 17th, 2014 in Culture » Books » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Seth Kushner

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Breakthrough Cred: Award-winning photography, with a passion for pop culture and comics.

Although Seth Kushner wouldn’t necessarily admit it, he’s led an ardently creative life thus far. First off, Kushner is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in a myriad of publications from The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Sports Illustrated, to Newsweek, Time, and L’Uomo Vogue, amongst others. He’s photographed everyone from Woody Harrelson, to Jay Leno, to the Beastie Boys.

Kushner also tried his hand at directing music videos, making his first effort in 2009 with Maya Azucena’s “Get it Together”. After enjoying that experience tremendously, Kushner teamed up with fellow photographer and filmmaker, Carlos Molina, co-directing the video for “John Hughes” by Q*Ball.

“Carlos is someone I’ve long wanted to collaborate with because of his unique Matthew Barney meets Will Ferrell aesthetic, and our common love of cinema, comics and pop culture,” he explained.

Kushner also has published books under his belt, including The Brooklynites (powerHouse Books, 2007), Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics (powerhouse Books, 2012), and the forthcoming New York Comics (Muttpop, 2014). Lest you haven’t guessed already, in addition to his other artistic endeavors (i.e. the passion for photography and moving images) the man has a penchant for comics, not to mention, pop culture. He ingeniously incorporated these passions on Trip City, “a Brooklyn-filtered literary arts salon”, which he co-founded with Emmy-award winning artist Dean Haspiel, Chris Miskiewicz, Jeffrey Burandt, and Hannah Means-Shannon. The site is home to everything from the profile series CulturePOP Photocomix, his prose series First-Person Pop, and his comics series, Schmuck, “an autobio comix neurotic featuring booze, boobs, vomit, diarrhea, kung-fu, and heartbreak”. This month, many thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Schmuck will leap from the virtual world, to the real world as a graphic novel.

Find out more about this week’s Breakthrough Jew, Seth Kushner, on page 2!

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