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Susumu Sato Photography

Susumu Sato’s photography has spanned for more than 2 decades in Manhattan. From his early street photography, in the tradition of great American and European master photographers, through editorial work including covers for New York Time Magazine, Self and Money. This also included still-life advertising projects, and personal projects blending technical skill with his eye for portraiture.

Known professionally as Sato, the photographer grew up in Japan and graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography in 1973. He moved to Manhattan that year, and soon began photographing the street life of the city, in the tradition of his heroes - documentary photographers Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand, and most importantly Cartier–Bresson.

In the late '70s, he worked as an assistant in advertising photography where he learned still-life portraiture of commercial products and went on to master the use of in-studio water effects. For the past two decades he has alternated between advertising work - earning prestigious awards including the Gold Medal, Addy, and Clio for his work for such clients as Movado, Rolling Rock, and Pepsi,

And other high–profile accounts to personal projects including 18 years documenting Greenwich Village’s Halloween Parade; portraiture (including celebrities sitting in and around The Harkonnen Chair designed by H.R. GIGER for the film “DUNE”), environmental portraiture of celebrities in their unique homes (such as Actress Sylvia Miles in her New York apartment, Las Vegas entertainers Siegfried and Roy in their Jungle Palace, among others); and unique doll collections - particularly of ancient dolls found damaged from years of improper storage, which Sato photographs in settings juxtaposing the antiquity of the dolls with nature or modern environments.


And still-lifes of flags from many nations recreated in blossoms. The “Susumu Sato Flower Flag “ portraits that received the Award of Excellence from the United Nations Society for Artists and Writers in 2002 and the American Flag Institute in 1999 are in the collections of President Bush, Senior, the late President Boris Yeltsin of Russia and a host of other national leaders and celebrities. They are also represented in the permanent collection of the Museum for the Arts of South Texas.

For the famed Cow Parade in New York City, Sato used more than one hundred photographs of the American Flower Flag to collage a life-size cow, “Susumu Sato Flower Flag Photo Cow”. The cow was situated in Battery Park in New York City and was one of the selected few chosen for the life auction at the Cipriani, NYC. In the summer of 2008 Sato collaged a large cat with 140 photos calling this cat “Susumu Sato Flower Flag Photo Cat” for the Cat Parade in Catskill, New York.

Sato has found a wealth of subjects in Windham, Northern Catskill Mountains to explore and photograph. As an example, the “Windham Snow Camel”.

See more of Sato’s work on his web site:

Sato has a long tradition of charitable donations throughout his career supporting several Aids charities, the Homeless and Doctors without Borders, and the York City Opera to name a few.

His fine art photographs are exhibited in galleries, corporate collections and museums in Europe and the USA.

Susumu Sato divides his time between New York City, travel and Windham, the vacation paradise in the Northern Catskills.


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