Paul Steinitz was born in Verberie, France, in 1968, and grew up in Paris. At the age of 16, he devoted himself to photography. In 1985, he moved to New York and opened the first contemporary art gallery in the West Side, called the Prisunic Gallery, right in the heart of the Meatpacking District which was then known then for its drug dealing and prostitution. He exhibited creations for installation artists – Stephen Sprouse, Bernard Naber, Luca Pizzorno, Yan Basely, which were specifically designed for the gallery space. The New York Times, the New Yorker, CNN and MTV reported the private viewing of the gallery in which a number of underground performers participated. The last exhibition of Prisunic Gallery, coinciding with the first Gulf war, was titled “Love on the Beat” and was co-signed by Paul Steinitz, Christine Mingo, Zadik Zadikian and Ivan Dalla Tana.
The art critic Roberta Smith compared this exhibition to the one realized simultaneously by Jeff Koons and the Cicciolina in Sonnabend Gallery. She paid tribute to “Paul Steinitz’s powerful work” by publishing a full page of his photograph representing a crucified trans-sexual in the Sunday Times. The day following this publication, Julian Schnabel, Damien Hirst and gallery owner Jay Joplin appeared at the exhibition opening to admire his 65.6 feet wide photographs inserted in blocks of plaster weighing fifteen tons.
Next, Paul moved to Tel Aviv and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art and other galleries, his first palladium prints; a technique that was introduce to him by Ivan Dalla Tana who was also friend and colleague of Warhol and Basquiat.
In 1998, he came back to Paris, and married Somalian top-model Ebyan Seren Abdi Halane who would later give birth to two children. She also inspired him into creating a magazine called Amaan, which was dedicated to contemporary fashion. Published two times a year, the 400 page magazines revealed stylists Catherine Hippie and Rufus Kellman, photographers Ali Mahdavi and models Natasha Vojnovic, Adriana Filed, Noémie Lenoir and Fernanda Tavares.
He photographed fashion events for John Galliano and Dior, in addition to young designer shows for Alexander McQueen, Shirtology, Gaspard Yurkievitz and Jeremy Scott. He is also a portraitist who transfigured writers, film directors and designers through his eyes where you can read the crossed influence of a Horst’s classical glamour and an imagery of decadent rock of the 70’s.
In the 2000’s, he was seduced by the turmoil of the underground life in Moscow, where he collaborated again with emerging creators (Konstantin Gayday, Denis Simachov), and model agent Gia who discovered Natalia Vojdanova and Natasha Poly, and artistic directors Danila Poliakov and Rosa. The promoters and artists Zak and Jabagh Kaghado organized a gigantic exhibition of Paul’s career at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Moscow: 350 photographs displayed on three levels, summarizing twenty years of his work. The exhibition was a big success and will be presented in Paris in the fall 2010.