mercoledì 12 novembre 2014


Al Vandenberg [Born Boston, USA 1932 | Died Hereford, Uk 2012]. Vandenberg studied photography in New York with Alexey Brodovitch, Richard Avedon and Bruce Davidson, and then worked in commercial photography - editorial, fashion, advertising and rock and roll. In the early 1960s he came to London, working again in advertising and fashion, but later abandoned his commercial practice altogether.

“Everything I made money on was fucking up the world. I philosophised myself out of the business quick. All these people tell you they want to use you, and bloody hell they do. I was tired of making a living. I wanted to live instead.”
 Al Vandenberg

Since the 1950s Vandenberg's own pictures - as against those by which he earned his living - have been made on the streets. He describes himself first, in New York, moving from one depressing neighbourhood to another, collecting indiscriminately, images of poverty, urban low-life and ethnic minorities, old people, street people - subjects already adopted and explored by Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand. Later, as a fashion photographer travelling around the world, he was frustrated by his isolation from the street life around him, and in South East Asia, confronted with every form of exotic subject matter, he found himself returning to what he had always done - photographing the people on the streets. But the emphasis of the photographs had changed. Where earlier he had studied depression and poverty, producing the freakish images of alienation, he now photographed people looking smart and having a good time; people who attracted him and with whom he could establish a rapport. The series of High Street photographs embraced the people of Singapore, Tokyo, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Laos and London, and totalled thousands of images. Those that the artist chose to exhibit are the images which show his subjects relaxed and responsive; sharing with him in the making of the picture.
Recent Work: "The Good People of China"

Al Vandenberg had completed his third trip to China and was preparing a body of work on its young people; "The driving force that propels China is economic. Deng Xiaoping, The leading thinker in China's market economy decreed 'To get rich is glorious'. He set in motion an unstoppable force- one country, two systems; Socialism with Chinese characteristics. The single child policy has produced a well educated, money-driven generation of young people living in a high tech society. Politics is boring. Mao has become an Art Object. China's building boom is a State-Of-The-Art work in progress. Young people have become the new heroes of the revolution."
"Nobody can teach photography". “Art College gives you three months per project – that’s two and a half months of play, one week cramming. You do pebbles on a beach and you've made it. I’m so fucking tired of seeing stones on a beach and people saying, ‘this is photography’. Photography is light. This is the light, right here (points at self).
"Don’t think. Just shoot". “Photography is easy. It should be fun. Once it ceases to be fun it becomes hard work, you’re on the wrong track. “Nobody can teach photography, but all kids want to be taught. Don’t say school or college is boring; it’s up to you to make it interesting.
“My job is to re-inspire people. If you want to start photography, then photograph where you live. The formula is the same all over the world”.
Al Vandenberg

All images © Al Vandenberg

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento


Related Posts with Thumbnails