Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some photographers I like (Erroi, Kerstens, Hibi)

I thought I would write some short paragraphs on a few photographers I know and like. They are not exactly unknown, but they may not be on everyone's radar to the degree that they deserve. I intend to make this a regular addition to Fugitive Vision. Stay tuned for more names.

Christian Erroi is a Swiss/Italian artist who lives and works in NYC. My favorite of his series is “As Above”. It communicates at many levels. On the surface, it has beauty and appeal for the eye. On a deeper level, one relates to the work as a metaphor for Mr. Erroi’s relationship with the world vis-à-vis his multiple neurological events (he has had dozens and dozens of strokes). On a third level, the presentation of the series as a three dimensional work lends a sculptural dimension to the “flat” world of photographic presentation. I find that there is also a relationship between the sandwiched presentation of the work and the glass slides and Petri dishes that the neurological side of the work references. Taken together, this work presents in a way that is unique in my experience. Check him out at:

Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter for the last 15 years. In a simple way this puts him in the tradition of Nicholas Nixon, Sally Mann, and Emmit Gowin. What is different is that he has posed and costumed her in endless variations that play on her identity and representation. Some who have viewed his work have confessed to me that they find this obsessive gaze on his daughter to be a bit creepy and disturbing. I disagree. I have met subject and artist many times, and I have never gotten any sense that there is something amiss in their relationship. Still, the fact that the sitter is the artist's daughter adds tension and mystery to the work. Seen together, the whole series is a remarkable survey of a young life, and artistic vision, and a document of growing to young adulthood.

Yuichi Hibi is a Japanese artist who lives and works in NYC. He has had two books published by Nazraeli Press, the best known of which is "Imprint", and third one is due out soon. I have had the pleasure to see that work plus two more as yet unpublished series. The first is called "Arrigato" and the second is "Hiroshima". "Arrigato" is an autobiographical survey and "Hiroshima" is an essay on the nature of a city that has weathered a cataclysmic event. I wish I had images to show here, but please seek the work to see yourself. It is subtle, beautiful, mysterious and beautifully printed. Some important curators are behind this artist's work. Though he does have gallery representation, so far no NYC gallery has given him the show he deserves. I predict that will change. The Link is to Gallery339 in Philadelphia. Check it out.

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