Joakim Eskildsen (born 1971, Copenhagen) lives in Germany.  He began taking photographs at an early age and trained as an apprentice with Rigmor Mydskov, the Royal photographer to the Danish Court, before moving to Finland to study photographic book making at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, where he graduated in 1998 with an MA in Photography.

 

His earliest published series, Nordic Signs, 1989-94, is a photographic work on Northern Europe, a hymn to nature, and the people who live in it. The photographs were made in Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. 'Nordic Signs — I think I have a sense of them here, something which is wild and yet inhabitable, but with a strong sense of weather, and wind, and destiny'.(Joakim Eskildsen)

 

Eskildsen is one of the most notable documentary photographers of his generation, demonstrating  in his work an innate sense for capturing an intimacy with his subjects. His ability to focus on the centre of what he feels is the essential element in a given picture, lends it a life of its own. His work has evolved around his many photographic journeys, which have been documented in monographs often depicting communities on the fringes of society.  Roma Journeys (introduction by Gunter Grass) was a seven-year project that followed the Roma people's movement from India to the Nordic region. Working in collaboration with his wife, the poet Cia Rinne, the book set a new standard in how we interpret a community that has been culturally isolated by the western world for centuries.  Other monographs published include: Nordic Signs 1995; Bluetide 1997; iChickenMoon 1999;  American Realities  2016; Cornwall 2018 and Home Works 2019.

 

Eskildsen's work has been exhibited extensively around the world in both solo and group exhibitions, including a retrospective at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen.  His work is held in public collections including Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki; Fotomuseum, Winterthur; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.