What does the human face of innovation look like? Award-winning documentary photographer Doug Menuez knows.
With unprecedented access to Steve Jobs and many other key innovators of Silicon Valley, Menuez was there to record the manic passion, struggles and joys of the silicon dream. His resulting documentary film and book, Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silocon Valley 1985-2000, captures the extraordinary moments when the power of ideas became reality. Kurt Andersen, bestselling author and host of public radio’s “Studio 360,” talks to him about watching Silicon Valley transform the world.
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Douglas Hayes Menuez (b. 1957) is an award-winning photographer based in New York City. While his varied career over 30 years has ranged from photojournalism to commissioned work and personal book projects, his methodology has evolved to employ a traditional documentary approach that allows for his subjective interpretation of the story. The driving concern of all his work is to explore and reflect the realities of the human condition.
His early work as a photojournalist began in 1981 while covering a wide range of news stories for The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, LIFE, USA Today, Fortune and many other publications worldwide. His subjects have included the Ethiopian famine, the Olympics and the AIDS crisis. He gained exclusive, unprecedented access to record the rise of Silicon Valley from 1985-2000 and documented the private daily lives of its most brilliant innovators, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Warnock, Carol Bartz, Andy Grove, John Sculley, Bill Joy and John Doerr during an era when more jobs and wealth were created than at any time in human history.
His many portrait assignments range from Hollywood notables such as Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, to Mother Teresa and President Bill Clinton. Menuez’ work has won numerous awards over the years and been honored by many organizations, including the Kelly Awards, The AOP London, The Cannes Festival, The One Show, The Art Director’s Club of NY, Photo District News, The Epson Creativity Award, American Photography, NY Photo Festival, Graphis and Communication Arts.
Menuez has been exhibited in solo and group shows and has also been featured in nine of the bestselling Day in the Life books. His commissioned campaigns for global brands include Chevrolet, Emirates Airlines, GE, Siemens, GE, Hewlett Packard, Coca Cola, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Nokia, Samsung and Microsoft.
Menuez’ books include the bestseller, 15 Seconds: The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1989, co-produced with David Elliott Cohen, which generated more than five hundred thousand dollars in relief money for earthquake victims. Three of his personal documentary projects have been published as books to date: Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton, Beyond Words Publishing, 1993, Heaven, Earth, Tequila: Un Viaje al Corazón de México, Waterside Press, 2005. His recent book Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda, from Beaufort Books, NY, 2008, with an introduction by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, has raised over one hundred thousand dollars to date for Ugandan AIDS orphans. Stanford University Library acquired his extensive archive of over 1 million photographs for their collection. His next project, Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution 1985-2000 will be published in May 2014 as a monograph by Simon & Schuster Atria, and is in production as a film and non-profit educational program. The first exhibition of Fearless Genius opened in Moscow at the Multimedia Arts Museum Photobiennale in March 2012. Menuez is on the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Center for Photography.
Kurt Andersen is the author of three critically acclaimed bestselling novels—True Believers, Heyday and Turn of the Century—and the nonfiction books Reset and The Real Thing. In addition, he's host of "Studio 360," the Peabody Award-winning public radio program, and contributes regularly to Vanity Fair and The New York Times. Previously, he co-founded Spy magazine as well as the online news services Inside and Very Short List, served as editor-in-chief of New York, editorial director of Colors, design critic for Time and a columnist for The New Yorker.