Exhibition: Gursky

Unit 1 P1, P3

This is the article on Gursky published on the site I edit http://www.artaroundtheglobe.com written in collaboration with Tatyana Evseeva:

Gursky is one of the few contemporary artists who is widely recognised by the public at large. His name stands for the ambitiousness of his aim to display all the forms of collective existence. Whether this aim was successfully achieved or not, everybody should judge by themselves.

The size of Gursky’s photographs is insanely large, so that it breaks all the usual geometric standards, plunging us into a fixed reality. For the first time, Gursky’s works fascinate and captivate the viewer, so that it is hard to move in the gallery.

In the first hall, one might see Gursky’s early photographs. As you will see later, these first works, made in the 1980s, significantly differ from the more popular ones displayed in the other halls. During this period of time, Gursky was studying at Düsseldorf Art Academy. He was mostly looking for an interaction between people and nature, registering different perspectives on the “social uses of the landscape.” Here, we can divide his works into two groups. The first one indeed comments upon the interaction between the humans and nature. The photographs “Niagara Falls” (1989) and “Ruhr Valley” (1989) raise a question about man’s place in the environment (either natural or artificial). It can be said that in those photographs, people and environment are put on equal footing. Nature looks like rather a decoration or the background, which is permanently disrupted by the presence of people.

Therefore, his works are about the manifestation of human behaviour rather about “interaction.” It is precisely this manifestation that shows Gursky’s moralist stance. It is expressed in his mockery of human activity, noticeable on his photos “Düsseldorf, Airport, Sunday Walkers” (1985) or “Rottingen, Swimming Pool” (1987). Gursky has described the figures in these pictures as “representatives of the species, whose mission remains obscure.”

In the 1990s he switched from the human behaviour in the natural environment to the built environment itself and its impact on human behaviour. The first photo, making this transition is “Salerno I” (1990), representing harbour basin with the numerous small orderly objects. These works made him a popular artist. The main topics of this photographs became labour, politics, commercialisation and sustainability in the global context.

There are two main features making his works of that time. First of all, Gursky started applying computer software (from 1992) to the process of editing pictures in order to construct reality, as he considered this move as the only one way to show the world truthfully. Among his techniques, he deepened the depth of field to make every element precisely detailed. He also combined photographs made from the several vantages into one painting (Paris, Montparnasse, 1993). Finally, he modified the colours and image. For example, he changed the colour of some of the shelves and added reflection to the ceiling to create a specific visual effect of claustrophobia (99 Cent, 1999).

Secondly, he started using “quantitative approach”, taking pictures of crowds at some action and filling the whole frame by those images (Tokyo, Stock Exchange, 1989; May Day series, 1997-2006) or photographing multiple objects with repeating patterns in structure (Paris, Montparnasse, 1993; Amazon 2016). In order to do so, Gursky quite often uses elevated shooting point, which he called “democratic,” as each element of the image has equal importance.

In fairness, there are presented several works, looking like an “exception.” To show the global context, Gursky took a photo of a unique object or a moment or a typical object, which have global influence as they are one of a kind (Toys ‘R’ Us, 1999; Antarctic, 2010; Review, 2015).

Also, Gursky’s mastery and visual flair are inspiring. His images always have excellent composition and rhythm. Nevertheless, his early works are more touching and have a ring of personality to it. Even the visual composition of these works is more emotional and exciting. Eventually, Gursky started to use similar approaches making photographs on the similar topics. He also has remained “moralist-observer”, fixing the human behaviour in the global capitalism context. Perhaps, for Gursky, such desire to maintain this stance, replicating himself and repeating patterns, is the true way to show the reality.

This is the article on Gursky published on the site I edit http://www.artaroundtheglobe.com written in collaboration with Tatyana Evseeva

Cruel and Tender: Presence of God

Unit 23 P2,P3,P4

have been the official photographer for the Russian church in Chiswick and I have been taking these images throughout the year. I am particularly fascinated when the light shines through the church windows and creates the sense of God’s presence. I photoshoped the images slightly in order to add more dramatic effect. I believe that these images are relevant to the theme of cruel and tender as JJesus was loving and tender and he was cruelly crusified. Also some people consider God and his will to be cruel to them and consider themselves to be tender in God’s arms.


Cruel and Tender: Julia

Unit 23 P2,P3,P4

I continued to work on the theme of cruel and tender and human volnurability, This time I photographed my friend Julia using long exposure and crerating trying to create the sense that our young years are passing too quick – she smiles on the photos, but she is almost transparent on most of them and changeble and tomorrow can be completely different. _MG_3347


















Research: Cruel and Tender. Alexey Titarenko

Unit 23 P1

As I have been experimenting with long exposurte I researched the work of this amazing Russian photographer who created his spiritual images of Russia and its people using this method. I believe that his images are really relevant to the theme of cruel and tender as they show people as a mass and give an acute sense of time passing and turning everybody into dust.

Research: Cruel and Tender. Spiritual Photography

Unit 23 P1

I have been researching spiritual photography as I was interested how I can reflect the invisible in my photos and give trhem deeper meaning. Also taken a long time ago these images are very relevant to our day as they can be considered to be on border with fine art. They create an amazing spiritual reality.

Cruel and Tender

Unit 23 P2,P3,P4

I photographed my friend Elena for my project Cruel and Tender as I wanted to show a tender woman in a cruel city. I have been using long exposure for this photographs and achieved some interesting effects when Elena seems almost transparent. I wanted to create a sense of volnurability im photographs and a sense that life is fragile and passing and the stone city remains oin the earth for much longer than we humans. _MG_3090.jpg

Still Life

Unit 23 P2,P3,P4

I created this still life based on my religious believes. I really like this image of Jesus Christ gtaken from the Holy Shroud as I believe that iti s very powerful, so I decided to include it in my still life. I am showing the route of Jesuse’s life in my still life: from him being a baby in Virgin Mary’s hands on the left through his life of teaching and crusixiction – on the open page of the book – to his death – in the sculpture of pietta. I also lit up a candle as a symbol of his resurrection. In my blog I am showing unedited images and final photoshoped image. I used Canon 6d and studio lights and flashes.