Schmidt

Born in: 1956, Germany
Lives in: Munich, Germany
Describe your art in three words: Photography without camera
Discipline: Photography, Other: photogram
Education: Diploma in Photography/Communicationsdesign at the Folkwang School/University Essen
See More Work:  https://photograms-deluxe.com

Tulip Blossom - Fine Art Pigment Print on Baryta Paper, 46 x 59 cm

"Skin on skin, dancing cheek to cheek. That's it. Direct contact with light-sensitive material. That’s what makes a photogram such an extraordinary image and an unmistakably unique piece."

What themes does your work involve?
Very diverse, an incredibly wide range. Anything motionless. Natural objects, musical instruments, memories, seasons, technology, various forms and manifestations of positive feelings.
Describe your creative process.

I usually get ideas when I’m fascinated by a person or an object Creating photograms is a complex process. It begins in a completely darkened room.  After positioning the light sources often covered with colored foils and adjusting their brightness the light-sensitive material is then taken out of its packaging in the dark, fixed to a flat surface.The person and/or objects are placed in position using a night vision device or by touch. Then my concentration is at its utmost and the shutter is released, the photogram has been exposed.The final step is development, which takes place in a special laboratory, The moment of truth comes afterwards. I’m either happy when I see the result, or annoyed when the photogram doesn't meet my expectations and all the work was in vain.

What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I studied photography at the Folkwangschule in Essen because I was so impressed by Otto Steinert's work. Then, of course, there are Floris Neusüss with his body photograms and the classics by Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy and Christian Schad. These days I’m inspired by all kinds of things, museums and exhibitions, but also, as I said, by the many forms nature takes on, but basically the idea of ​​how something will look in direct contact with photographic paper or film when when you only see the form and the contours. When you express something out of that. I “make art” because I can't help it. Maybe it’s in my genes. In any case, it’s an inner urge that I have to follow.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
“Good art” is whatever makes me do at least a double take, what touches me, engages me and kidnaps my thoughts, whether it be visual art, sculpture, photography, performance, or film. Am I leaving anything out? I like whatever grabs you and doesn't let you go. When it creates a certain tension, makes you curious, provokes you or maybe just radiates sublime calm and harmony.
What is the role of the artist today?
I'm an artist because I just can't help it. I want my work to spread positive vibes. Artists offer people pieces that inspire, fascinate and move them. Their work is soul food, so to speak... The role of artists today is not much different than it always has been: they provoke, they heal, they unite, they resist.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist