In the last decades of the 20th century, Doug Menuez, a renowned American photographer, documented Steve Jobs, John Sculley, Bill Gates and other leading innovators of the digital revolution as they invented new technology that reshaped our world. His photographs reveal an idealistic tribe whose efforts sparked an explosion of innovation creating millions of jobs and massive worldwide wealth.
In 1985, when Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple, Menuez reached out to document his fall from grace and imminent return to the spotlight for LIFE magazine. As Jobs and his team began building the next computer, it was expected that his comeback would be quick and even more impactful than ever before.
With money being secondary to their mission, Jobs and his team made extreme sacrifices for the sake of their work. After a flurry of failed marriages, ruined careers and even a suicide, the project became a reflection of the tumultuous, deeply competitive, and often dark side of Silicon Valley.
Menuez’s collection of work, Fearless Genius, is a reflection of his own personal journey as a naive witness to the revolution, documenting this “idealistic tribe” willing to sacrifice anything to invent the impossible and change our way of life forever. Through still photographs, Menuez takes us into a complex, mostly unknown world.
“I tried to be unobtrusive and avoid impacting events I was observing,” remarked Menuez. “I began including a visual anthropology practice by photographing documents, graffiti, objects and other elements in environments that might provide clues about patterns of behavior that might help draw conclusions about this group and their culture. After a few months, I realized I was not able to remain objective about my subjects and determined my project was a personal interpretation and therefore subjective. This freed me from prior editorial constraints.”
Following a presentation of Menuez’s images at Photo Independent, a panel will explore issues the project raises about challenges to innovation we face today, especially in regards to education and investment.
Please join us to view Menuez’s work as well as to participate in discussing these and many other topical items at Photo Independent.