This portfolio contains some of my works with reference to the art world and artistic expression. You’ll find other art photography works in other portfolios too, clear-cut categories on a homepage like this never possible.
Thus, for instance, The Rouen Cathedral Suite and Abstract Real portfolios are also art photography and many other portfolios contain single works that I see as art photography.
I’ve deliberately mixed types and themes: colours and black-and-white, single photos and a few collages, photo paintings, photos from many places, street photos, people, meditative, minimalist and elaborate – and there is no time sequence.
The reason is that diversity is best explored that way, each work given the same value and each standing alone, not a one in a category.
Art belongs to what philosophers would still call an “essentially contested concept”. I don’t pretend to know what it is but I believe I can feel it when I see it.
I could say that it is a rest category; since what I do is not fashion, portrait, landscape, wedding, advertising, or any of the many photographic themes or fields, perhaps what I do is art photography.
But that doesn’t feel right. A good thing shouldn’t be defined negatively, as the absence or exclusion from something else. It must be something in and of itself and as having a positive presence. So, too, art photography.
To enlarge and see details, move your cursor over single images and click on those in galleries:
At the end of the day, my works in this category should speak for themselves; some may call them art pieces, others may not.
David Hockney makes the point that art images and photography have been intimately associated even before the first photograph was fixed on a surface. I believe this is true. Some photography is definitely art and artists – painters in particular – and photographers have inspired each other.
Painters have used photography in their works; photographers have worked with artists – and some have been both a painter and a photographer. These connections have always interested me.
To elaborate a bit, let me refer to the wisdom of a master I cherish very much. Below is a photo I’ve found on Instagram of something Robert Rauschenberg jotted down, as it seems, in 1981.
I’m drawn, in particular, to these words or ideas:
- the conflict between shyness and curiosity;
- a camera as one’s permission;
- to be where it will always never be the same again;
- to see what light and darkness touch – and care;
- photography as communication
Art and peace are basic to my photo concept and, thus, to my life.
Other dimension, elements and thoughts that guide me:
• I try to see the potentials in an image and then care for them in the process so that each final work becomes something unique;
• I don’t work with digital techniques for the sake of perfection and all images do not require the same treatment;
• a diversity of themes, seeing the big and the small world where I go;
• photo graphics – meaning a graphic print-like appearance on matte fine art papers;
• variety of media – fine art papers, canvas, sometimes metal and mixed media;
• honouring the advice of my mentor, the grand old man of Danish photography Viggo Rivad: it is you, not some (expensive/sophisticated) equipment, who create the good picture;
• I teke responsibility for the entire process – from shooting to printing, framing and marketing;
• I experiment with the above, not aiming to find a niche or one style that can be repeated;
• I’m inspired by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter and David Hockney as well as by classical art – e.g Vermeer in “Black Girl With A Pearl Earring” (2014);
• inspired too by contemporary photographers – too many to mention; travel to art and photo fairs as much as I can;
• identifying my work mostly with art photography but also some documentary on this site and on my Exposure site;
• making extensive use of new technologies, the Internet and social media;
• always having my Nikon D7000 and/or iPhone at hand;
• exploring randomly what peace photography could be.
For far too long photography wasn’t considered an art form – you’d often see the expression “art and photography”. But over the last 10-20 years, it has certainly become accepted as such and we find an increasing number of specialised photo galleries, art photo fairs, magazines and homepages. Museums open department devoted exclusively to photography.
The contemporary dynamics of photography as such – the role of images in society and creation of images of the world, the new digital technology, tools like the iPhone, apps and sharing dialogue/sharing options like this blog, social media and Instagram in particular – fascinates me.
In my view, no other art field that has changed so fundamentally and so rapidly as photography. I think it is no less than a revolution and I have written a bit about it under the headline “It’s a Photolution”.
That I take inspiration from several contemporary artists or directly incorporate them in my works is no secret. There is my re-working of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” above. And here is an example relating to Gerhard Richter.
In 1964 he created a painting entitled “Two Fiats” – a blurred image of cars passing through what looks like a wood. When it was exhibited at the Tinguely Museum in Basel, I asked a dear friend of mine, Natalia, from Russia to stand in front of it (there are other photos separately with her) in a way I thought would give a three-dimensionality to the image. Few of my visitors who see it think it is a real road and trees behind her.
And in this video about my work in general, I illustrate how I was inspired by the crosshatching pattern that Edward Munch used and which Jasper Johns seems to have been inspired by. The video was produced by a French student, Héloïse Dumont, as part of her studies at Lund University in 2017.
Here a few more.
Click on a photo and it becomes larger. Then press “Comment” in the lower right corner and it is enlarged even more. You’ll see some technical details and also be able to comment.
Then visit the shop and see print details and prices of all the photos you’ve seen here plus several more that are only in the shop.
Before you go to the shop to see details, let me say that the many art photographics works are presented in a deliberately mixed way. There is no time sequence, no collection of themes and the like. And no attempt to show some kind of development of my work as such.
I see them as individual works that require equal attention by the viewer and I like to mix things into diversity…
Go now to the shop and see all the art photography works
– details in enlargements, editions, prices and more
Published in October 2018, latest updated in June 2020.
Jan, your work is very pleasing to the eye and to the mind. Looking through your catalogue is like attending a fine art gallery-if I had some space on my walls in my modest house I would buy one of these wonderful pieces.
That’s very kind of you, warms my heart, Christopher. May I humbly suggest you buy an immodest house, then 🤣