A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Jim Turbert currently oversees technical support for photography and video at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. Turbert has been juried into a variety of regional competitions such as New Art National Competition at MPG Contemporary, Manifest: A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Photography at the Copley Society of Art, and most recently, EXPOSURE juried by Jen Bekman at the PRC.

In his earlier work, Turbert staged images of people watching a video of him on television and posed in and amongst a variety of media. In his latest work, he considers perceived expectations from friends and family versus his present reality in an ongoing series of self-portraits. In his statement, Turbert ponders: “You may be asking yourself why you should care about Jim Turbert and his self-portraits. My response to that would be that I am nobody, and honestly, why shouldn't you care about me?” We should and do, as evidenced by his Astronaut visage on many PRC postcards and newsletters. You can visit and follow Jim online courtesy of the new-redesigned “Jim Turbert Fan Club” at (and purchase JT swag as well).

(Editor's note: Jim was selected by the PRC for this August NEO before the jurying for Exposure was held; we were delighted that he was also selected for exhibition and for even more, pun intended, exposure!)

- Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator

Click here for Turbert's website.


Quite literally, I am a serial self-portraitist. My recent work is about the perceived expectations that my family and friends had for me as a lad and how they contrast with the reality of what I have become. I recall my mother casually telling me that she thought I was going to be an astronaut when I grew up. Little did she know that only around 450 out of the 6.5 billion people on earth have been to outer space. One would need to be extraordinary to make the cut to be on that team. Likewise, my grandmother used to send me VHS tapes full of JEOPARDY!© episodes so I could study them, and someday end up a big winner on the smarty pants game show. No one ever said to me, “Geez Jim, it would be really cool if you were a darkroom/technical support guy at a New England college for affluent women. Also, it would really be something if you took lots of pictures of yourself and posted them on the internet.” This is however an accurate representation of what I do. I assure you, it is not glamorous.

In previous work, I depicted folks watching me on television. There is not much of a reason why anyone would need to watch me on TV. As I mentioned above, I, like most people, live a relatively unextraordinary life, yet given the opportunity many of us are willing to put on a show, and even more are willing to watch. By staging this ceremony of voyeur on exhibitionist action, I'm drawing attention to these aspects of personality that are in everyone. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the pictures reveal something about my desire to be noticed, and they express a desire to be something more exciting while acknowledging that I am fully aware of my lack of “spice.” Also, I think it's funny.

- Jim Turbert, 2007



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Copyright © 2007, Photographic Resource Center, Inc.