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Sebastian Rich: A photographer of war and occasionally peace

Sebastian Rich has been an award winning photographer in hard news, documentary and current affairs for over thirty years. His acclaimed camera work is amongst the most sensitive ever witnessed. One of the characteristics of his work is the poignant images of suffering children worldwide. Of late he has augmented his brilliant and haunting conflict images with the powerful and passionate series, “Bullets to Ballet”. I am honored he is helping me raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with his participation in The Play Project: Interviews with Artists.

Em: “What first inspired you to become an artist?”

Sebastian: “I am an acute dyslexic (to the point of illiteracy) so at an early age I turned to visual communication to compensate for the lack of written communication.  I now think of dyslexia as a truly wonderful gift to enable me to see life in a much more prosaic form.  Everything I see, feel and touch I can describe in an image without the luther of written description.”

Em: “How has art influenced your life and helped shape you into the person you are today?”

Sebastian: “Art is probably the most important thing in my life, it is who I am, art defines me as the sky defines the earth where they touch in unison on the horizon.”

Em: “Why to you is art and creativity essential?”

Sebastain: “How utterly and unbearably boring would life be without art.  I cannot bear to think of life without art, what would be the point in humanity carrying on.  We have no idea why we are on this funny little planet, but I think that art may truly one day be the key to unlocking this “beginning of time” mystery to the human race. “

Em: “Can you describe your own unique process for creating art?”

Sebastian: “I have no process, it’s instinctive, totally deliciously unpredictable, and wonderful.”

Em: “Do you have a moment of struggle or triumph in producing your art that stands out in your mind?”

Sebastian: “It’s never really a struggle, it’s just that at times so called “normal life” gets in the way.  The triumph is when all corners of my frame (photograph) seem to sing in harmony, the perfect moment.”

You can see more of Sebastian’s work at


Emerson Tenney

Emerson Tenney

Emerson is a junior in high school. She loves literature and is passionate about writing, poetry in particular. When she is not playing the drums, participating in school musical theater, or training for marathons, you can find her with her friends checking out vintage records and used book stores in Hollywood.

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