Saul Leiter: paintings

“I may be old-fashioned, but I believe there is such a thing as a search for beauty – a delight in the nice things in the world. And I don’t think one should have to apologise for it.”  

Saul Leiter in  ‘In No Great Hurry‘, a 2014 documentary about Saul Leiter

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, ca 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

Saul Leiter (1923-2013) was born in Pittsburgh. His Jewish father was a well known Talmud scholar and Saul studied to become a Rabbi. His mother gave him his first camera at age 12. At age 23, he left theology school and moved to New York City to pursue painting. He had developed an early interest in painting and was fortunate to meet the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart, who was experimenting with photography. His interest in photography grew and he started to take pictures of his neighbourhood. The rest is history. Saul Leiter became a pioneering photographer with a very distinct eye.

Despite his photography career, he never gave up painting. In the retrospective exhibition which originated at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and travelled to FOMU in Antwerp, his pioneering pictures were shown next to his colourful paintings; abstract paintings on Japanese silk paper, painted-over nude pictures and small paintings in sketchbooks. A beautiful  artistry of Leiter to be discovered!

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, ca 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache and watercolour over gelatine silver print

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache and watercolour over gelatine silver print

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, Untitled, 1960. Gouache, casein and watercolour on paper

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Saul Leiter, sketchbooks

All pictures were taken by me in the Retrospective in FOMU, Antwerp.

 

 

Home Works

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In my field notes is some more Danish art inspiration to be found this summer. I was introduced to the work of Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen (°1971, lives in Berlin) at the 80 days of summer photo festival in Ghent, Belgium. The pictures of his series ‘Home Works’ impressed me, how he photographs children around the home in a romantic and at the same time a kind of raw way. The way he uses light to its full potential, the way his images make us long for an intimate, homely and simple world. Some may call it melancholy but in any case Joakim Eskildsen is a top photographer.

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Check out Eskildsen’s gorgeous portfolio on his website with recent work shot in Cuba and the USA for Time.
All pictures shown are taken from his website with thanks.

Things fall apart

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006 - Sander Buyck

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2006 – Sander Buyck

Although he travels the world to take pictures, in his images there is no sign of stereotypical portrayal. There is poetry, personality, and just the hint of a story. He’s an excellent observer.

Jenin, OPT, 2011 - Sander Buyck

Jenin, OPT, 2011 – Sander Buyck

Sander Buyck was born in Ghent (b 1984), Belgium were he studied photography. I was recently introduced to his work because he won the 2-yearly provincial price for visual arts (Oost-Vlaanderen-Belgium). The resulting exhibition showcasing his work was such a nice discovery. All pictures shown here are from the accompanying catalogue.

Havana, Cuba, 2009 - Sander Buyck

Havana, Cuba, 2009 – Sander Buyck

Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2010 - Sander Buyck

Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2010 – Sander Buyck

Paris, France, 2008 - Sander Buyck

Paris, France, 2008 – Sander Buyck

“Rendez-vous au paradis” is a series on Palestinian martyrs photographed the way he encountered them on posters in the streets of Palestina. The project tells their individual stories as recounted by family members in a video that can be watched on iPads in the exhibition and now also on the project website.

Martyr #2 / Rendez-vous au paradis, West Bank, OPT, 2011 - Sander Buyck

Martyr #2 / Rendez-vous au paradis, West Bank, OPT, 2011 – Sander Buyck

“Things fall apart” is the title of an artist book he produced in 2009. For me it sums up beautifully the atmosphere in his images.

 

à la Dutch Master paintings

When a hobby becomes a passion project something powerful happens.

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Take Bill Gekas, a portrait photographer from Melbourne. He is entirely self taught.
Since 2010, Bill has been creating a series of portraits of his beautiful five-year-old daughter Athena, inspired by Dutch masters’ classic paintings. What was originally intended to be just a few personal portraits, became an ongoing art-project for Bill and his family. Mastering the intricacies of studio lighting, combined with a huge amount of preparation painstakingly undertaken by the photographer and his wife in their spare time, has allowed Bill to capture these incredible images.

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To see more of Bill Gekas’ work, visit his website and blog.