I worked in the darkroom of the photo shop of German emigrants and later apprenticed for four years with a good portrait photographer, then I opened my own portrait studio. In 1954 I had the opportunity to immigrate in the USA where I worked as a photographer for the Southern Pacific railroad out of San Francisco. I started to free-lance in 1960.
In Chile I got my first impressions of the photographs of Henry Cartier Bresson and of the new realist Italian movies of the ‘40s which formed my stile for the future. One time, becoming impatient with flat pictures hanging on walls I built photo-mobiles, one of them big enough to walk through, which soon was exhibited at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. Since I had neither the inspiration nor the interest in pursuing this line of work I returned to the ironic-melancholic gray scale in which I felt at home, and still do.
After 30 years I left California and lived in several countries before returning to Germany, always carrying my home with me in my camera bag and my darkrooms. In the moments of unexpected meetings of time, subjects and me I realize where I belong, which can be anyplace.
My aesthetic remains middle European. I emphasize with and respect other, more adventurous approaches, and I learned that mine has less to do with subjects and objects but with their anthropomorphy. Forms which attract me can be symmetrical or chaotic – in symmetry small differences become important, and in chaos it’s the instant in which unexpected constellations flash by suggesting another reality. Back in Germany, for want of a darkroom, I purchased a digital camera which opened exciting color options that I am still exploring, never, however, leaving my black and white analog photos behind.
Pursuing neither the underprivileged nor the wealthy I work with what I find in the middle class environment in which I am comfortable. I have often asked myself whether I shouldn’t be more socially conscious and have answered that the world doesn’t need my topical images. If it needs me at all it is where I can work best.
Now you check it out.