ATHENA AZEVEDO

photographer

ATHENA AZEVEDO

Artist/Photographer/Art Director, NYC + Brazil


Athena Azevedo, is a photographer, art director, producer and curator known for her bold, colorful and highly graphic photographs, rooted in journalism and fine art. As the in-house photographer at IF Studio, Athena’s work has won international attention and has received 63 awards since 2014, in collaboration with the Graphis Master design duo, Toshiaki & Hisa Ide.

Life and Work:
Athena was born in San Francisco to Azorean Portuguese philosopher Américo Azevedo and American economist, environmentalist and psychotherapist Alanna Hartzok. At age five, Athena’s family moved to Pennsylvania where she discovered her passion for photography at age eight, photographing first with her grandmother’s autofocus point and shoot camera. She then studied photography in high school and later upon returning to California at age 18, she began taking street and fine art photography with her uncle’s 1966 Minolta T101, SLR 35mm camera, with a broken light meter, and began photographing on assignment for various non-profits and her college newspaper.

She went on to study cinema at San Francisco State University as a cinema major and later continued her studies in Photography, Film, Rhetoric and Cultural Studies at the University of California Berkeley, where she studied with photographers Janet Delaney and Ken Light and the feminist Vietnamese filmmaker, Trinh T. Minh-Ha. It was at U.C. Berkeley, at age 21, where she was granted the Pinto/Fialon fund, a grant for Portuguese decedents. The grant provided the means for her to travel to Brazil for 11 months to learn the Portuguese language and then to later travel and study, for the first time, to her family’s homeland in the Azores and Portugal.

In 2009, Athena moved to NYC, continued her fine art photography, and quickly became part of the NYC up-and-coming post-print-era photojournalist scene, working with award-winning grassroots photography organizations like Burn Magazine—run by Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey, 25 CPW Gallery—founded by photographer and curator Bess Greenburg, and The Vanderbilt Republic with photographer and art director George Del Barrio. During this time she befriended and was mentored by world-class photographers Bruce Davidson and Kerry Payne.

In 2012, Athena worked with the legendary Time (Magazine) war photographer, James Nachtwey, on a special assignment to remove and relocate his war photography archive out of the Time Magazine office to make room for a digital video editing suite; thus, historically marking the end of the analogue era for the magazine.

In 2013, Athena started working at the award winning NYC-based graphic design agency, IF Studio, where her mentor—Graphis Design Master—Toshiaki Ide, noted her photographic and conceptual talent and began assigning her commercial work. Through the agency, Athena’s photography has been featured in ad campaigns in Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She has photographed top models Bobby Roache and Tereza Bouchalova, internationally renowned Chef Nobu, as well as portraits of significant emerging and established artists, such as virtual reality filmmaker Eliza McNitt, painter Kristin Simmons, and choreographer Regina Miranda.

Also in 2013, Athena met her husband, Brazilian composer, João MacDowell, and the publicist Christina Morgan. The group co-founded the International Brazilian Opera Company (IBOC), a small NYC based non-profit dedicated to the development of contemporary operatic repertoire through combining the work of international and Brazilian artists. IBOC has presented seven new operas since opening.

In 2017, IBOC established their Brasilia, Brazil office, including an IBOC art gallery and artist residency, of which Athena is co-curator. It is through Athena’s combined work with IBOC and IF Studio that she photographed and produced the Graphis International Double Platinum award winning opera posters for "The Seventh Seal" in 2017.


Awards

2018
(2) Platinums for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2018
(4) Golds for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2018
(1) Silver for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2018
(2) Platinums for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2018
(9) Golds for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2018
(4) Silvers for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2017
(1) Graphis Advertising Annual, Graphis International
2017
(1) Platinum for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2017
(5) Golds for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2017
(4) Silvers for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2017
(6) Golds for Graphis Photography Annual, Graphis International
2017
(4) Silvers for Graphis Photography Annual, Graphis International
2017
(2) Platinums for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2017
(4) Golds for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2017
(2) Silvers for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2016
(1) Gold for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2016
(1) Silver for Graphis Photography Annual, Graphis International
2016
(1) Design Annual Graphis, Graphis International
2015
(1) Gold for Graphis Poster Annual, Graphis International
2015
(1) Gold for Graphis Design Annual, Graphis International
2015
(1) Silver for Graphis Photography Annual, Graphis International
2015
(1) Type Directors Club Award, Type Directors Club
2015
(3) How International Design Awards, How International
2015
(1) Gold for Graphis Typography Book, Graphis International
2015
(1) Gold for Graphis Social/Political Book, Graphis International
2010
Youth Noise Award for Environmental Photo, Robert Redford Foundation