Tag Archives: photoshop

Abstract Real

Here’s a background to my exhibition that will open at Easter 2016, Friday the 25th of March  – “Abstract Real”.

Google “abstract art” and you get this definition by Rudolph Arnheim:

“Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, colour and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.”

It’s often called nonfigurative and “Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum.”

Further down this excellent Wikipedia entry you read that “Much of the art of earlier cultures – signs and marks on pottery, textiles, and inscriptions and paintings on rock – were simple, geometric and linear forms which might have had a symbolic or decorative purpose.

It is at this level of visual meaning that abstract art communicates. One can enjoy the beauty of Chinese calligraphy or Islamic calligraphy without being able to read it.”

Eutopia_7_PhSh

Untitled So Far # 1 © Jan Oberg 2016

Exactly – that’s what I wanted to say too – abstract is a continuum away from re-presentation of the world; it’s about beauty and decoration with no message – except perhaps beauty. It is nothing new and it can depict a reality – but a reality that we don’t “read” concretely and in a broader sense.

So, what about abstraction and photography? Continue reading

Homepage for Viggo Rivad

Viggo Rivad is the grand old man of photography in Denmark. He turned 90 in July 2012 and is still going strong – although he says that he has now done his duty when it comes to taking pictures. That is true. He has donated about 40,000 to the Photography Museum in Odense and to the National Library.

Viggo is my mentor. We met in 1983 when we were both members of a Danish delegation going to China, arranged by the China-Denmark Friendship Association. I had just bought my first SLR – Single-Lens Reflex – Cannon camera and in Tokyo, on the way to Beijing – I added an advanced zoom lens. He taught me a lot of “tricks” during that trip and his sense of humour became legendary in the group. We met after that trip too, now and then but not that often.

ViggoRivad#2

Viggo Rivad 2009                             © Jan Oberg 2009

Photographers are usually not that happy about being photographed. Viggo was no exception, but in 2007 he accepted that I took a few shots of him in his small flat in Copenhagen where he had lived for decades. I felt it was an honour, an act of friendship – the feeling that I was accepted not only as me but also as someone who could take photos, someone he trusted.

Before I decided to set up my own studio and become more serious about photography, I consulted with many and sought their advice. I avoided some mistakes, but not all – perhaps fortunately. After having opened the studio in May 2009, the 2nd exhibition I arranged was with a selection of Viggo Rivad’s classical pictures – both black-and-white (which he is most known for) but also colours (which he wants people to take into account too). I felt that his works should be my first “real” exhibition.

It was a lovely co-operation; Continue reading

The advantages of the new photo-related technologies

To follow-up the preceding blog post: What are the comparative advantages of all this? Aren’t we just obsessed with newness and becoming techno freaks hunting down the latest versions of some manipulative tool? Yes, that is a risk – but!

You are still the one to decide what kind of image you want to produce and why. You are still choosing how much you are prepared to let technology rule you, or you rule technology. You can still decide that this particular picture should not be touched but printed rightaway as raw as it’s been shot.

Here are some reasons why I like these recent tecnologies and their potentials:

Continue reading