Michael Benabib

Michael Benabib is an American photographer, best known for his portraits of prominent celebrities like David Bowie, Tupac Shakur, Sean Combs, Keith Richards and numerous others. He has also done portrait photography of luminaries including Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, Loretta Lynch. 

His work has appeared in publications including Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, Vibe, ESPN, The New York Times, and Newsweek. His work has been added to the photography collections on display by The Smithsonian and MoMa.

Hip-hop photography

In the 1980’s, as a teenager in New York City, Michael was exposed to the downtown music scene. Michaels first freelance clients were Rush Management and Def Jam Records, where he photographed acts such as Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, among many others. In 2007, Watson-Guptill Publications and Billboards Books published “In Ya Grill: The Faces Of Hip-Hop” the hip-hop photography of Michael Benabib and text by Bill Adler.

Career

Starting in 1995, his editorial photography assignments for magazines included The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Forbes, ESPN Magazine, and Bloomberg Markets Magazine. 

In 1997, his editorial magazine photography led to advertising assignments for brands such as Heineken, Nissan, Sprite, and Lugz; also including pro-bono work for PETA and Planned Parenthood.

In early 2000’s, assignments for Forbes Life Magazine led to the expansion of Michael’s portfolio to include Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, CitiBank, and Pfizer, among many others. 

Exhibitions

In 2003, the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, which was largely devoted to hip-hop photography, curated a one-man show showcasing the work of photographer Michael Benabib. In September 2015, the Eyejammie Photo Collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) exhibition titled “Is Fashion Modern” included his photograph of Tupac Shakur. 

In 2017, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African-American History and Culture exhibition titled “More Than A Picture” included his photography acquired from the Eyejammie Photo Collection. 

In 2018 and currently on-display, The Smithsonian exhibition titled “Represent” included his hip-hop photography of MC Lyte, Tupac Shakur, and Mary J. Blige. This exhibition showcases different photography of his work than those displayed at The Smithsonian's exhibition in 2017.

In June 2018, Bond Street Print Shop photography exhibition fundraiser to benefit Southern Poverty Law Center included print sales of his celebrity photography. 

Books