Katvan Studios Inc. 40 West 17th Street, Apt. 5B New York, New York 10011
Studio. 212.242.4895 Fax. 212.627.5034 Cell. 917.232.4009
Rivka Shifman Katvan is world-renowned for her photographic studies of the Broadway theater. For many years, she was the only fine-art photographer allowed to shoot backstage on Broadway and during the Tony Awards. Her book, Broadway Behind the Curtain (Abrams, 2001) catalogues some of this work. Rivka’s work is regularly exhibited in New York at Gallery 138 and is in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Television and Radio and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has been featured in numerous publications and online media outlets, including Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, kodak.com, and lanciatrendvisions.com.
Rivka began taking backstage photographs in 1978 as her degree thesis for the School for Visual Arts, and she continues to exhibit and publish them widely. A longtime supporter of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Rivka has donated photographs to fund the organization’s work for two decades, raising in excess of $230,000. Yet she has not let her well-known Broadway images define her as an artist. Rivka carries her camera with her everywhere, capturing vignettes and moments that speak to her. Such vignettes include haunting views of the Brooklyn Bridge in the fog, scenes of daily life in a tiny Catskills village, a working-class boxing gym, inmates in New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility, and moody images of New York store mannequins reflected in the windows they inhabit. However surreal the imagery in her photographs, Rivka does not alter them digitally. In her Coney Island series, she follows two men who appear to be dressed from another era as they wander among very contemporary visitors in the famous amusement park, creating a lyrical sense of unreality. In her most recent series, Abstracts, seemingly random chips of paint are greatly magnified to create colorful “found” abstractions.
Rivka graduated from The School of Visual Arts, with honors. She lives in New York City with her husband, photographer Moshe Katvan. The couple routinely collaborates on their portraits of people and travel photography.
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