Monday, February 08, 2010

Catch Me and Stand Me Still

    So called photographers are ever abundant in our modern world. With cameras easily available to nearly everyone it is rare that anyone really catches my discerning eye. Sure plenty of people will keep me looking for a moment, but the one who keeps me coming back again and again must be skilled indeed. Last year at the Ann Arbor Art Fair I happened upon one of these skilled photographers. His name is Michael Bryant.

    Michael hails from Atlanta, GA and was inspired to take photographs after being exposed to the art museums of Europe.  Since 1998 Michael has won dozens of awards for his photography.  So what are his pictures like anyway? Well, to start he uses the Holga, a camera originally intended for the masses. He could take similar images with any film camera, or take them digitally and alter them in photoshop. But the uniqueness of each Holga gives his images an other worldly feel that he really wouldn't be able to obtain any other way. Plus, it adds something powerful to each photo knowing that it was all done in camera.

    Michael mostly photographs big city landmarks. Things everyone has seen time and time again, but he truly puts them in a new light.  In my opinion Michael's double and multiple exposure images are his best.  I am not even sure how to explain these images (for this reason I have included one of his photos at the end of this paper). They are  abstract fantasy, yet concrete reality at the same time. Buildings floating in the sky just like they could have always been there.

    His work is nothing like my own, indeed nothing like I have ever seen before. I think that is what keeps me looking. He is different, unique. An especially difficult thing to be in our image saturated world.  In his own words, "When I look at a finished piece and for a split second, time stops and I hear my heart beating - I am unable to breathe and I am aware only of the piece and how it makes me feel. Then, I know that I succeeded." Ah yes, for that quiet moment in time when nothing else exists but you and art.

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