John R. Pepper




John Randolph Pepper, American/Italian, was born and raised in Rome; he lives in Palermo and works worldwide. 

Pepper started his career in black & white analogical photography with an apprenticeship to Ugo Mulas at 14. He published his first photograph at 15 and had his first show at 17. 

He studied History of Art at Princeton University ('76), where he was awarded 'University Scholar' and was also the youngest member of the exclusive painting program, ‘185 Nassau Street’ . He then became a ‘Directing Fellow’ at The American Film Institute, (Los Angeles) and subsequently worked as a director in theatre and film for 30 years. During that time he continued to take photographs with his camera Leica M6 always using the same Ilford HP5 film stock.

John R. Pepper is represented by different photo galleries (France, Russia, Israel) and his photographs are in collections in various major museums around the world. He is considered by many in the Italian Foreign service as a ‘Cultural Ambassador’ and has collaborated with numerous Italian Institutes of Culture in many countries. 

After debuting in the USA in 2009, the exhibition ‘Rome 1969, An Homage to Italian Neo-Realism’ was shown in US, Paris, Rome and Saint-Petersburg. This was followed by ‘Sans Papier’ (2011) — Rome, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Paris and Palermo.

‘Evaporations’ is published (2014/15) exhibitions are presented simultaneously at the Rosphoto State Museum, Saint Petersburg, Officina Zattere (14th Biennale di Architettura, Venezia) and in 7 cities across Russia. November 2016 to January 2017 ‘Evaporations’ was presented at Palazzo Cipolla in Rome, by Fondazione Terzo Pilastro.

Since 2015 Pepper has been working on his project ‘Inhabited Deserts’, where he explores deserts and their effect on time, history and people. In September 2018 Pepper opened ‘Inhabited Deserts’ in Teheran — where he was one of 1st Italian photographers to exhibit since the revolution. In November 2018, after participating at Paris Photo, the show moved to Tel Aviv before going to The Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai (U.A.E.). 2019 ‘Inhabited Deserts’ was shown in Art of Foto (St Petersburg, Russia), then in May-June 2019 in the NOX Contemporary Art Gallery. In 2020/2021 ‘Inhabited Deserts’ will be seen in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and finally return to Italy.

Also in 2019, Pepper will open ‘Rome: 1969, An Homage to Italian Neo-Realism’ in The Netherlands.

Pepper has published several books and he works with a Leica M6, 35mm lens and uses Ilford HP4 film. He works exclusively in B&W with gelatine silver prints on Ilford Baryta paper, exhibition quality.