Lyle Owerko is a New York–based filmmaker and photographer with a diverse roster of clients that include major brands, corporations, and human rights groups. He has also directed music videos for artists such as Rufus Wainwright and American Hi-Fi.
Known for his perception and knowledge of urban movements, his instinctually crafted visual images have found an indelible place in the lexicon of pop culture and journalism. In a morning that will stay with him forever, Lyle photographed the image that appeared on the cover of Time magazine's September 11, 2001 issue, which was ranked as one of the 40 most important magazine covers in the past 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors. His current projects seek to bridge ethnic borders in a manner that documents cultural groups for the betterment of the human condition.
A renowned New York City-based photographer, filmmaker and self-professed “pop-culture junkie,” Owerko’s editorial and fine art projects regularly take the globe-trotting artist to Africa, Japan, Europe and South America. His heart-wrenching editorial photograph of the Sept. 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center appeared on the cover of TIME magazine and was called one of the 40 most important magazine covers in the last 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors. His film credits include music videos for Rufus Wainwright and American Hi-Fi and commercial spots with Robert Redford for The Sundance Channel. His work has been featured in Communication Arts magazine, The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York magazine, The London Times, BlackBook, Vanity Fair etc… including broadcast and radio interviews on NPR, CBS Sunday Morning and ABC Nightline, as well as Canada’s CTV, CBC and Global networks (along with extensive coverage on the venerable BBC in England). His journals have been included alongside those of director Mike Figgis and musician David Byrne in the 2005 Princeton Architectural Press book ‘Drawing From Life’. In 2010 Abrams published “The Boombox Project” his artful historical overview of a seminal pop-culture icon at the axis point of the global phenomenon of Hip-Hop. That same year Hasselblad Cameras also named him a “Hasselblad Master” for his work as a fine art photojournalist. Lyle’s work can be seen in many museum and private collections including the V&A in London who possess part of his Boombox collection in their permanent archive of 20th century historically significant objects. “The Boombox Project” was most recently displayed at the MINT Museum in Charlotte, NC. His collector base represents the who-is-who in global entertainment including names such as; Beyonce & Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Adele, Madonna, Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz, NAS, Carmelo Anthony, Timbaland, Questlove, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Randy Jackson, The Kings of Leon and many notable names in business and media. Lyle continues to shoot new work and is currently showing an installation of his ‘Mongolia Eagle Hunter’ series in an old vaudeville theater in New York’s Lower East Side (that was once the performance space for Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini and Buster Keaton). On November 4th of 2015 Lyle will release his long awaited sculptures elevating ‘The Boombox Project’ to a spectacular precipice of sonic proportion. The sculptures will compliment the feature length Boombox documentary currently in production via Stink Films in London based on Lyle’s book.
Lyle was raised in Calgary, Canada, studied at the Pratt Institute in New York, and currently resides in New York City.