Jonah Gorder

Jonah Gorder (b.1996) is an American visual artist currently based in Bozeman, Montana. Jonah started his photography praxis at Montana State University to pursue his BA Photography.

Jonah spent his boyhood outside the city of Portland, Oregon where he developed his distinct style and interest in showing the beauty of the fundamental uncontrollability of human nature. His work is highly influenced by his fascination with social behavior and contemporary practices such as emotional disconnection, self-identity, and the obsession of eternal youth. He best describes his work as vernacular photography, finding the small beauties in everyday life, using common things as his subjects, and fully immersing himself in his community to create raw imagery. Jonah is currently completing his degree at Montana State University, School of Film & Photography, while working on his series, titled “SMOKE & MIRRORS”, in which he is capturing the feeling of youth often hidden in our society.


In this fast-paced era, we live in a society of yearners, for whom it seems escaping reality becomes the only source of real. In 1915, British playwright and novelist, William S. Maugham, stated; “It looks as if they were victims of conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life.” These years feel like they will last forever, but then one day they are gone. It does not matter where or when it happens, coming of age is brutal. Emerging adulthood is smoke and mirrors; it is a disguised attempt that youth is full of warmth, joyfulness, and celebration. It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it. Smoke & Mirrors is an ongoing portrait project centered around youth and its subcultures, and the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Through the exploration of self-identity and instability evolves a series capturing the feeling often hidden in our society.

To view more of Jonah Gorder’s work please visit his website.