John Hagen (Aleut/Inupiaq) is a landscape photographer who lives in Haines, AK. His inspiration is people and place and the interaction between the two. As an Alaska Native born and raised outside his traditional homeland, he explores place and how it relates to identity.
A Inupiaq photographer, Hagen explores the kind of images humans create about themselves. In a modern world, everyone uses cameras. But Hagen’s inspiration for creating images may be similar to the inspirations in nature his ancestors used—and generations beyond may also use—to connect with their identity and their place. Hagen creates a body of work that explores these questions.
In his most recent work, Hagen has been seeking out inspirations for Indigenous art and designs in nature. The end result is abstract landscape photographs. Rather than focus on the sweeping Alaska landscape, Hagen may choose to photograph a single crack in the ice or the curves of a river—shapes that may have influenced his ancestors in their art or designs.
Hagen has shown his work in Alaska, Washington, Oklahoma, and Santa Fe. He just completed and Artist Residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He is the recent recipient of an artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation and a Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship.