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Alex S.


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BIOGRAPHY

Primarily a street photographer. Interest is human interaction. Consider the bulk of my work as documentary. I am a historian of the passing moment. But I am also prone to artistic whimsy, most notably seen in my preoccupation with reflections, which represent photo realism of another sort. In my less serious moments I photograph cats and, occasionally, sunsets. Lately, family and friends have become very important in my documentary work. Unlike my social documentary photography, this is entirely for myself and those I love. If these photographs do end having historical value I will of course be pleased. Like any artist, I crave attention and long for immortality. But I am lately I finding myself, like Kafka, wishing to keep much of what I create to myself and a few trusted friends. In the course of my photographic life I have shot thousands of strangers because I felt that they were in some way worthy of immortality. Thus far none of my subjects has complained. If you happen to be one of those strangers and do not wish to have your image displayed, please contact me through my Photo.net e-mail. I'll remove your image. I have used many different sorts of cameras over the years but in the last decade or so I have been using Leica M and other M-mount rangefinders almost exclusively. I use both digital (Leica M8 and Epson RD-1s) and film. A confession. For most of my creative life I have believed that my art should be an escape from self. By this I mean I wanted it be other directed and not introspective. I wanted to disappear from my creations, thus giving them a life independent of my ego and my will. I have found creation to be a lot more fun that way and more grown up. But lately, I found myself missing myself in all of this. One can write about one's self; but it is another business to photograph one's self. I had avoided photographic autobiography all of my photographic life. But the thought that I could turn the camera on myself and make myself my primary subject (no model release necessary) nagged the back of my mind for a long time. Finally I did it--you can see it on Flickr--and will never do it again. This aside, I need to say something more the about purpose of my photography. All of my candid photography is predicated on discovering epiphanies. Epiphany is a term James Joyce used to describe the moments in his fiction when a profound insight in life was brought about by a seemingly trivial of common place event. This is the general idea all street photographers have, though they have different names for it. My influences: Paul Cezanne, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Anton Chekhov, Heni Cartier Bresson, Walker Evans, Brasai, Georgia O'Keefe, Robert Frank among many others. In my other life I am a writer. My purely literary and photographic lives run parallel and usually do not come together. There has been a recent exception. For nearly a decade I photographically documented to quasi-countercultural life on Ebisu Bridge which crosses the Dotonbori River in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. The images I made of the various people inspired a short novel entitled "The Bridge of Dreams." It was published in 2010 as an ebook published by Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14792). I did get a photographic series published in an online journal, LITnIMAGE, that publishes both literary and visual works. I was the first contributor to publish in both the literary and visual sections of a single issue. My one photographic book is Ordinary Strangeness, published as a POD by Viovio (http://www.viovio.com/shop/20126). My other photographic works have been published in Viewfinder and on the Leica Historical Society of America (LHSA) website. Viewfinder Volume 44, Number 1 2011 published my photograph "Balloon Over the Chateau" on its front cover.


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