Shoot # 22

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Cock And Zumo 2011 Reworked 2015 © Jan Oberg

Cock And Zumo 2011 Reworked 2015 © Jan Oberg

Whether you are an old or new friend I welcome you to Oberg PhotoGraphics.

shoot is a single-photo digital gift – a moment of meditation – with which I wish you a good weekend and ‘weekbegin’.

The photo above – “Cock And Zumo” – is a collage with references to Japan and two details from my pixelation works.

Photography is about seeing the world, but my work is also informed by browsing art and art magazine online, see what happens at museums, galleries and fairs. Thanks to Flipboard – a publishing platform that offers a totally new “flip” experience on any device – I now curate Oberg PhotoGraphics Global.

It gives me joy to share it. And – who knows – perhaps you’d get inspired to curate your own magazine?

After all, social media is about exactly this: the joy of sharing, mutual inspiration and helping each other keep updated about the common interest world. Last but not least:

Online art sales is growing fast but human communication is still number one? If you would like to acquire one of the photos on my homepage, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

My best
Jan Oberg

Shoot # 21

"Pictures At An Exhibition" - Woman And Gursky © Kan Oberg 2015

“Pictures At An Exhibition” – Woman And Gursky © Jan Oberg 2015

Whether you are an old or new friend I welcome you to Oberg PhotoGraphics.

shoot is a single-photo digital gift – a moment of meditation – with which I wish you a good weekend and weekbegin.

The photo above – “Woman And Gursky” – is an example of my explorations under the working title “Pictures At An Exhibition”. Some 50 are now on Pinterest and Instagram – @janoberg_photographics (let’s link up). If you have visited the Biennale or Art Basel you may see yourself or your gallery there.

There is now a backgrounder to them on my blog and I’m always interested in comments and critical points.

You’ll find my thoughts on this year’s Art Basel at  “Art in Basel and Art Basel 2015”.

The Special Collection section (165 images) on my re-designed homepage has been created with connoisseurs in mind.

Oneline art sales is growing fast but human communication is still number one, isn’t it? If you would like to acquire one of the photos on my homepage, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Finally, many thanks for all encouraging comments to and sharing of these “shoots”.

My best
Jan Oberg

Pictures At An Exhibition

Interaction Through Robert Irwin's installation at Art Basel, Unlimited 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

Interaction Through Robert Irwin’s installation at Art Basel, Unlimited 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

I’m an art “consumer” and love to go seeing exhibitions, fairs, studios and museums. I don’t know when it began but I suddenly got the idea that all of what is going on in these spaces is interesting – not just the art works on show.

I began to explore whether it would be possible to see them as interiors, or stages, where a lot of interaction and “acting” was taking place – with me as an observer but also still a participant.

Exhibitions – big international fairs in particular – are shows in shows: people dress up, play the roles (sometimes) as elite connoisseurs – or are there to show off, be seen and interact with each other. They take pictures of the works with their smart phones – indeed, it seems now to be the dominating way to perceive art – and I take pictures of them doing just that.

Gallery booths can be seen as theatrical stages. Installations sometimes cry for people to participate, walk around in the set, explore what is behind a curtain or door. Bodies move around and provide constantly changing “installations” – sculptural settings or narratives.

We live in a time when art people seemingly are looking more for getting an experience like in a theme park than, perhaps, sitting down in silence and contemplate what is the meaning of the art piece or art as such and what it tells us about our society and our times.

Visitors consume – sometimes in very fast, scanning ways – so much so that you wonder whether they ever really see the art work in front of them, not to speak of try to understand it in a deeper way.

One gets the feeling that the seeing experience is turned into a movie-like zooming in and out. Fast! Faster! And on to the next!

Like you can be fascinated by street photography – which is also a bit voyeuristic – or landscapes, I think one can get indeed very curious about what is really going on when people meet art works of various kinds and in diverse milieus.

That is why I have taken a lot of pictures over the years at exhibtions and perceived them as theatre-like stages – rather than of the art works being exhibited.

I call these sketchy attempts Pictures At An Exhibition  – yes, the title is stolen from Mussorgski’s fine piece of music. I have uploaded them, not on my photo homepage – at least not yet – but at my platforms at Pinterest and Instagram. I am curious to see how people there react to this exploration.

And if you have been a visitors or gallery owner at, say, Art Basel or the Biennale in Venice, you may find yourself there!

Can pictures of such art-ificial settings become art beyond documentation?

Great artists like Eric Fischl, Thomas Struth and David Hockney seem to say “Yes”.

The idea of depicting people who watch art in various settings is nothing new, I haven’t invented a thing.

But I think the exploration is socially and culturally intriguing. And I believe images of those settings can become art pieces in and of themselves too. At least sometimes.

Five more reasons why I am spending quite some energy on this:

  1. The element of chance, of bodies moving in an out of my composition or angle (and not knowing they do).
  2. Object-subject: It’s quite bewildering when you are in the midst of a crowded show and you are both a part of the visitor group and try to understand it as an object outside your own presence.
  3. It tells us about our time – how the smart phones are changing everything – including how we see the world.
  4. The essential character of these milieus as temporary, as arranged, as being intensive for the duration of the exhibit and then dissolving, disappearing, never ever to be seen again. In short, by taking pictures there you preserve some bits of exhibition history.
  5. Documentation – like any other photo, if you looked at these picture 30 years from now (say 2050), you’d have some interesting views of what was on show there back in 2015, how we dressed, (inter)acted on the art stage and which kinds of art, artists and galleries were in focus.

There is, thus, an element of documentation in all this – at the same time as it is an ongoing on-the-spot exploration which I don’t intend to be documentary.

I exploit the opportunities and sometimes want to make it very clear that it’s not predominantly about documenting an exhibition and its visitors. I interpret these spaces as any other object, say street photography.

That’s why I allow myself to sometimes play with these raw shots and turn them into something else – like in these three examples:

“At An Exhibition With Dad” © Jan Oberg 2015

Untitled At Exhibition © Jan Oberg 2015

Untitled At Exhibition © Jan Oberg 2015

“Two Men At Exhibition” © Jan Oberg 2015

Welcome to many more Pictures At An Exhibition at Pinterest and Instagram

Shoot # 20

Geraniums In A Window © Jan Oberg 2014

Geraniums In A Window © Jan Oberg 2014

Whether you are an old or new friend I welcome you to Oberg PhotoGraphics.

shoot is a single photo, a digital gift – a moment of meditation – with which I wish you a good weekend and weekbegin.

The photo above – “Geraniums In Window” – is a tribute to everyday beauty. It is from an old farm house, shot through a handmade glass in a door.

New images have been added to “Pictures At An Exhibition” on Pinterest. You’re invited to also take a look at the collection of images of contemporary Iranian art and gallery interiors there?

Here my report “Art in Basel and Art Basel 2015”. For all of you who could not go there, the text, photos and videos offer some impressions.

Articles have been added to the GlobalArt Magazine which I curate – at your fingertips, helping you keep updated.

Oneline art sales is growing fast but human communication is still number one, isn’t it? If you would like to acquire one of the photos on my homepage, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Finally, many thanks for all encouraging comments to and sharing of these “shoots”.

My best
Jan Oberg

Shoot # 19

"Caffee At San Marco" - Venezia © Jan Oberg 2011

“Caffee At San Marco” – Venezia © Jan Oberg 2011

Whether you are an old or new friend I welcome you to Oberg PhotoGraphics.

shoot is a single photo, a digital gift – a moment of meditation – with which I wish you a good Sunday and weekbegin.

The photo above – “Caffee At San Marco” – depicts 5 (yes, not 3) people in silent dialogue. Venice is a classical treasure for photographers and other art lovers and there are more on my re-designed homepage – now interactive, better picture presentation and super-functionality on your phone, tablet and screen.

New images have been added to “Pictures At An Exhibition” on Pinterest. 

Here my report “Art in Basel and Art Basel 2015”. For all of you who could not go there, the text, photos and videos offer some impressions.

Don’t miss the new GlobalArt Magazine which I curate. Exciting “flip-reading” that helps you stay updated and explore today’s bewildering global art!

Oneline art sales is growing fast but human communication is still number one, isn’t it? If you would like to acquire one of the photos on my homepage, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Finally, many thanks for all encouraging comments to and sharing of these “shoots”.

My best
Jan Oberg

Shoot # 18

"Four Walls And Woman! -  Marrakesh 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

“Four Walls And Woman! – Marrakesh 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

Whether you are an old or new friend I welcome you to Oberg PhotoGraphics.

shoot is a single photo, a digital gift – a moment of meditation – with which I wish you a good Sunday and weekbegin.

The photo above “Four Walls And One Woman” was shot in Marrakech a few months ago and there are others from there on my re-designed homepage – interactive, better picture presentation and super-functionality on your phone, tablet and screen.

New images have been added to “Pictures At An Exhibition” on Pinterest. 

Right before sending out this “shoot” – see the earlier ones here – I finished a report “Art in Basel and Art Basel 2015”. For all of you who could not go there, the text, photos and videos offer some impressions.

Don’t miss the new GlobalArt Magazine which I curate. Exciting “flip-reading” that helps you stay updated and explore today’s bewildering global art!

Oneline art sales is growing fast but human communication is still number one, isn’t it? If you would like to acquire one of the photos on my homepage, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Finally, many thanks for all encouraging comments to and sharing of these “shoots”.

My best
Jan Oberg

Art in Basel and Art Basel 2015

Entrance to Art Basel © Jan Oberg 2013

Entrance to Art Basel © Jan Oberg 2013 – Click on any photo here to see its details.

I was there – were you?

This year I basically “write” about the Basel Art week through my pictures. You’ll find some in this blog post, some on Pinterest at a board called “Picture At An Exhibition” (oh no, no ref to Mussorgsky who just happened to entitle his piano suite similarly) and some on Instagram and some inside my newsletter, “Shoot” (which you may subscribe to by sending your mail address of obergphotographics@gmail.com).

I’m out a little late in relation to Art Basel that took place about a month ago but I am not a reporter and I take pride in processing and/or playing with raw images and make personal presentations rather than upload endless fast snapshot photographs on the spot.

Some readers belonging to the gallery world may recognise their own booth/gallery with art pieces and visitors on the mentioned links above – which, btw., are not only taken at Art Basel.

From Art Basel 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

From Art Basel 2015 © Jan Oberg 2015

 

Not an art review – what matters is what we like and therefore share

That said, this is no review of Art Basel, the world’s largest art fair. That would be impossible at least for me. I go there for inspiration, not for comparative studies or judgement. And neither am I an art critic. I just take pictures.

One reason I go to Basel every year is that I love to see my favourites ‘live’ – Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Richter, Scully, Johns, Motherwell and many others – too many to mention. Another is that I want to get a sense, just a tiny one, of everything exciting that happens in the so-called art world. And, third, to tell you the truth, I go to even steal an idea or two or, as I said above, to get inspired.

With almost 300 galleries there – mainly Western but also quite a few from around the world – it is simply too big and too overwhelming to get hold of. I calculated that I must have seen a good 6.000 works during 4 days or 30+ hours.

So when you read in all those expert magazines that there are ten “must-sees” or that they know what is the best or most  amazing, it’s a choice – perhaps a result of “group think” among a small elite. It can certainly not be based on a thorough review of everything exhibited. Continue reading