I recently visited Gilbert Garcin's Mister G exhibition at the Stephen Bulger Gallery and was thoroughly impressed by his imaginative and existentialist photography. Playfully placing himself within surreal landscapes and situations, Garcin allows the viewers to temporarily escape reality. In this existential state, time and space are lost in Garcin's imaginary world. Human existence and the solitude every being experiences in life and death is very present in his collections. However, any heavy philosophies of life are muted by the humourous overtones in each work.
Interestingly, Garcin photograph's himself, cut's out the image, and pastes it back into a different constructed photograph. Garcin's non-photoshopped crop is admirably non-technological. Perhaps his old-school process reflects his age (81)? Or maybe because he is "new" to the photography field..
On a side note, although many critics suggest French photographer Garcin's work is surrealist, I see many similarities between his photographs and German Expressionist Films.. For example, 1920s German Expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene.
(Two images above for comparison of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
Is it better to be concise and brief when it comes to Robert Frank? Most articles on his world renowned photography begin by stating that his The Americans collection is the single-most important photography effort of the twentieth century to capture American culture. He is also the most enigmatic. I personally have come across several photographers that fall into that "defining the American Dream category". Arguably, his 1950s Americans collection was impenetrable for several decades.
It is hard to judge from my cultural position. Now, street photography is the norm. We have discovered our place within time and learned to capture the moment properly. Maybe pop culture has pioneer photographers like Robert Frank to thank? I wonder if it is easier to connect with photography of the 1950s and 60s lately because of the vintage revival sweeping through our streets and photographs? Add some colour and we have ourselves a William Eggleston or Bill Owens image...
Who am I to judge though?? Robert Frank does make America look appealing.
Talk about underground photographer. For forty years, Doug Biggert took personal snapshots of hitchhikers he picked up alongside of the road. He was discovered with boxes full of hitchhiker portraits varying in photographic quality and age. Regardless, there is a story behind each portrait that is beyond my imagination.