Artists Jono Rotman

Jono Rotman

Jono Rotman was born in New Zealand and raised in a rural valley near Wellington. Rotman studied printmaking at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina and photography at Wellington Polytechnic. Rotman’s work is represented in collections in the USA and Australasia. His work has been exhibited in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. He lives in San Francisco, where he is married to a neuroscientist and has two small children.

Rotman's work is predicated on the idea that civilisation is a delicate fiction. He focuses on the point at which different power structures meet: during the colonial process or at the collision of civilization and the natural world, for example. This often draws Rotman to subjects on the edges of society. In New Zealand, his work has explored incarceration and gangs, leading him to interrogate his own place as a New Zealander of European descent in the colonial history of the country. In the US, Rotman's work touches on similar themes, exploring the shifting violent ingredients of the American empire.

Working on large-format film, producing large-scale prints, and often extracting his subjects from context, Rotman seeks to harness the potential of the analogue process to transmit spirit. His work neither presumes a ground truth, nor provides a packaged narrative. However, each photograph is offered as an avatar of an entire ecology. By creating beautiful images of terrible things, Rotman's goal is to elicit an experience of the sublime. Further, through a constellation of difficult subjects, Rotman aims to confront the things that scare us most.

Jono Rotman


1994 Certificate in Professional Photography, Wellington Polytechnic, New Zealand

1992 Print-making, Universidad Municipal de Mendoza, Argentina

selected exhibitions

Download Curriculum Vitae

2017 Matériel, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2016 Ōmaruni, Parlour Projects, Hastings, New Zealand
Mongrel Mob Portraits, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2015 Jono Rotman: Mongrel Mob Portraits, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand

2014 Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2005 Interiors, McNamara Gallery, Wanganui, New Zealand
Still Present, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

2001 Parallel Worlds, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand & Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia
Art Futures, Pataka Gallery, Porirua, New Zealand