I started taking photographs around 2002, although I feel like I have been doing it longer than that. In a way, I feel like I have “photographing” my entire life without using a camera.
My most cherished memories seem to always revolve around a picture, whether an actual photograph or a simple ingrained memory, I’m not quite sure.
Somehow, I always think of things as static photographs suspended in past memories. These memories run in a loop inside my brain, playing back on demand; activated by triggers: a song, a sensation.
During this playback, I can feel the air around me, hear the things and people I heard back then, and experience again what happened right before that moment, and whatever came after.
This method of life perception, is applied to my work and my artistic appreciation. To me, art, or photography, is not simply about the subject/object portrayed or the work created, but also, about the conditions that inspired an artist to create something.
Art, it’s about what we don’t see, what we find hidden between the lines, and the emotions it awakens.
For that reason, I always formulate a story to a photograph. I image what the artist was feeling at the moment the shutter snapped, who was around him? Why was him or her at that particular place and that particular moment.
Every photograph is meant to tell a story, and every provides insight into this story, and it invites the viewer to share the moment, the feeling and the mood.
I only photograph what I consider to be inspiring and beautiful; for those are the only things that could really tell a story. But I don’t subscribe to the modern definition of beauty. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. And this force should inspire a dejection of the standard. Today, beauty is defined by unrealistic portrayals that effuse sexism, homophobia and unattainable perfection. The “ugly” labels seem to have no place in modern photography. Instead of documenting life as is, modern photography seem to inclined toward over-correction and false recreation of unreal nature. It is as if beauty has being standardized by capitalism. If something is not pretty for everyone, it won’t sell. One of my goals, is to redefine such conventions.
Beauty to me is a deep, awing feeling. It is both inspiring and terrifying at the same time. It can't be solely defined or codified by anyone for it is ever present in everything we see. Beauty can’t be packaged, captured or even photographed. Its meaning and interpretation is deeply intertwined with our consciousness.
Now, to me, the definition of consciousness is deeper than the sum of my intellect, my awareness and my reasoning. It is the defining force behind my work, and what impels me to document what needs to be documented. My photograph’s main objective is to present a clear documentation of not only a subject/object but also a sensation and an abstract thought.
Everything you’ll see in my work is in its purest state, no framed subject or object is arranged or pre-setup for any photograph. Everything has been documented in the raw.
Street photography demands the photographer to separate himself from his environment in order to provide a more realistic portrayal of what’s been appreciated. Yet this doesn’t mean that the photographer does not belong where he stands as he takes the picture, but rather he becomes one with the environment: documenting, and leaveing without altering the scape.
I have never asked any of my subjects to pose for a photograph. I have interacted none, or very little with the subjects here portrayed. All the objects photographed have being found on the streets just like they were photographed.
Life is imperfect. And photography can only capture such imperfections to reveal its essential beauty.
Photography, aside from music, is the only medium through which we can easily reflect on our past and be taken back to an particular instant. The layering contained within an image aims at being inspiring. The more you stare at a photograph the more you are revealed its secrets.
My work's objective is not only to reveal a lost sense of beauty among the saturation, but also to invite the viewer into an introspective journey into the details of oneself and the quest for inner beauty. These images aimed at remaining printed in the soul and to evoke all possible emotions and sensations.
Whether this work is beautiful or "worthy" that's up to each of you to decide - if you want to decided at all.
All images and content © 2013 Nick Zwegchen. All rights reserved.