The photographer Peter Bialobrzeski defines his work in terms of 'aesthetic pattern' rather than style. For him, photography is a tool used to make sense of the world; as a result, he places great importance on aesthetic coherence. His subject matter and approach occupy a territory between photojournalism and fine art, and he takes an interest in both the documentary and aesthetic nature of the medium. He has produced numerous series, of which 19 have been published in book form.Read More
Peter Bialobrzeski made his debut as a photographer at a local Wolfsburg newspaper in the 1980s. Originally studying politics and sociology, he chose not to complete the degree, but later attended the University of Essen and the London College of Printing (now University of the Arts London) to study photography and editorial processes. Although not a conventional photojournalist, he acknowledges that winning two World Press Photo prizes played a vital role in his success by exposing him to new audiences.
Diffusion of light plays a vital role in Bialobrzeski's work, achieved through clever composition and long exposure. This lends a hazy, dream-like atmosphere to many of the compositions, and elevates the everyday scenes to something otherworldly, a quality exemplified in the series 'XXX Holy'. His mastery of technique is evident also in the series' 'Paradise Now' and 'Neon Tigers', where the viewer is presented with striking, innovative compositions.
Images from 'Paradise Now' take on a romantic pictorialism derived from the luxuriant botany, long exposures and flash utilised by the artist. There exists a conversation between nature and architecture; the viewer is confronted with canopies of lush greenery and dangling vegetation, both framing and concealing the architectural elements. The resulting compositions suggest a feeling of discovering the city.
A fascination with Asia prevails throughout Peter Bialobrzeski's oeuvre, ignited during his travels South-East Asia in the 1980s. The resulting bodies of work often centre on cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. Despite the futuristic appearance of his photographs, the artist uses new technologies only where they are necessary. For 'Neon Tigers', he used a large-format camera and colour negative film, later utilising computers for scanning and printing the images, and equalising them further.
Peter Bialobrzeski's solo exhibitions include No Buddha in Suburbia, Hartmann Projects, Germany (2019); Heimat & Die Zweite Heimat, Cite de l'Image, Luxemburg (2018); Die zweite Heimat (The Second Home), HAUS am KLEISTPARK, Germany (2019); and THE CITY / URBANE RAUME, Foto Forum, Italy (2018).
Group Exhibitions Peter Bialobrzeski also participated in include betwixt and between, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York (2019); Formen des Bleibens, galerie burster, Germany (2018); and Landschaft ohne Horizont, L.A. Galerie, Germany, 2018. Museum exhibitions include Civilization: The Way We Live Now, NGV National Gallery, Melbourne.
Peter Bialobrzeski has won numerous awards for his work, including the Erich Salomon Award. He has been a professor of photography at University of the Arts Bremen since 2002, and has worked with publications such as GEO, Merian, Tempo and Die Zeit.
Caitríona de Búrca | Ocula | 2020