Aaron Siskind was an American photographer who sometimes produced images analogous to or in homage of abstract expressionist painting. In his autobiography he wrote that he began his foray into photography when he received a camera for a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon. He quickly realized the artistic potential this offered. He worked in both New York City and Chicago.
Siskind's work focuses on the details of nature and architecture. He presents them as flat surfaces to create a new image out of them, which, he claimed, stands independent of the original subject.
Early in his career Siskind was a member of the New York Photo League. Working with that group, Siskind produced several significant socially conscious series of images in the 1930s. Among them the "Harlem Document" remains the most famous. He originally was a grade school English teacher in the New York Public School System.
In 1950 Siskind met Harry Callahan when both were teaching at Black Mountain College in the summer. Later, Callahan persuaded Siskind to join him as part of the faculty of the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. In 1971 he followed Callahan to teach for the rest of his life at the Rhode Island School of Design.