"" JAMIE SAYS DREAM: Photographer Anders Petersen

8 januari 2012

Photographer Anders Petersen

Photo: Anders Petersen, from the book Café Lehmitz

Anders Petersen is a Swedish photographer born in 1944. He started his path into photography when he met (the late) Christer Strömholm in 1966 and became his student and friend. Anders Petersen has won a lot of photography prizes (read more about that here), he is well know and respected and have been called "one of the most important European photographers living today" (quote from here).

The photo above is from his first photo project, from Café Lehmitz in Hamburg 1967-1970.  This was a place where prostitutes, pimps, transvestites and criminals gathered, and Anders Petersen spent a lot of time with the people there. The woman in the photograph above has fascinated me for a long time. The pride posture, the rough beauty. Anders Petersen has moved in the outskirts of society with his camera, and there is a lot of black in his photos, metaphorically and literally.

We as humans have a need to belong, and we have dreams, both nightmares and dreams of a better life. This is portraied in Anders Petersens photographs I think, but also the uglyness and the struggle. He doesn't want to create art photographs, but I'm not sure he succeeds in that aspect. I think his photos tell us about the reality but also shows us the beauty of decay.  A beauty that may be more present in his photos than in the reality he documents? Maybe.

In this interwiev (in Swedish) Anders Petersen says that the person behind the camera, the behaviour and way he (or she) approaches the people he wants to take pictures of,  is much more important than professional cameras and  technique. But he adds that afterwords, in the darkroom, he works a lot with his photos.

Photo: Anders Petersen, from the book Café Lehmitz

"Black and white has more colours" (Anders Petersen)

Photo: Anders Petersen, from the book Café Lehmitz 

"It's all about longing. Without longing, no picutures at all" (Anders Petersen)

Photo: Anders Petersen, Paris 2006

Photo: Anders Petersen, from the book Close Distance 2002

Photo: Anders Petersen, from the book Roma, a diary 2005

"I want it to be as true as I can do it, organic almost" (Anders Petersen)

Photo: Anders Petersen, from his book Photographs 1966-1996

More about Anders Petersen: 

Anders Petersen's website

Video interview from 2011

Interview in Swedish by Louise Qvarfordt from 2011

Audio interview from 2007

Photos published with permisson from Anders Petersen. 

6 kommentarer:

Mel sa...

very intimate. i'm always amazed at how beautiful black & white photography can be, yet how much it speaks to me, what story it tells. no distraction from color. beautiful, thanks for sharing!

LissenTo sa...

Intressant och jag har bara läst och sett några bilder av Anders Petersen. Bilder med budskap och så före sin tid.

Så kul att läsa att du också ville gå lite själv och titta ibland :-)

tammie sa...

i love, love, love that first picture!


I'm glad you all like the photos :-) I have been coming back to the first photo for a long time know, but I really like all of them.

Morlee sa...

What stunning photos! They are so REAL!!

Patricia Villamil sa...

very interesting indeed, I would love to see an exhibition by this photographer!