John Clendenen: Sr. Retoucher

  • In 1985, John is born to two Air Force officers outside of Denver, Colorado. He briefly lives there, and then Providence, Rhode Island, before settling in Houston, Texas, in 1990. John spends the 90s combating and/or complicating his preadolescence by collecting Magic: The Gathering cards, earning a black belt and learning to code. In August of 2000, John uses Photoshop for the first time.

    Two years later, John begins skipping lunch to take photographs and print them in the school darkroom. He moves to Austin in 2004 to study photography and computer science. His thesis is a body of work inspired by The Question Concerning Technology by Martin Heidegger. He graduates with honors in 2008 and finds work retouching photographs of marine life.

    In 2010, John moves to Brooklyn and begins freelancing for various boutique retouching studios and photographers. Inspired by the Brooklyn art scene, John takes up carpentry in 2012, and converts his loft into a gallery. He hosts six group shows and two of his own solo shows over the next three years. In 2013, John joins Droga5. He continues to freelance there regularly until 2016, when he accepts a full-time position as a Senior Retoucher. It is his first full-time job.