For those of you that follow the blog, you’ve probably already picked up on the fact that I like hyping up and promoting the work that friends or friends of friends do in any artistic manner. Whether it’s teaching at the Writing Salon, doing collage work in their spare time, or seeing the world through the eye of a camera lens, I’m all about helping out my fellow artists of any stripe if I can, even if it means simply writing a blog post and pestering the hell out of people with promoting it.
Having said that, my friend Philipp Striebe has a project I’ve been following for awhile through his Facebook posts over the last several months. I’ve seen some of the sample photos and they’re straight up fantastic. I dig the concept as well. I've seen some of his other work and Philipp has got a great eye for imagery.
In order to cover the costs of curating his show, Philipp has started a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise money to put on the exhibition. You’ll find a link to the Kickstarter page at the bottom of the post. Here’s a little explanation of the project:
“45 seconds...the time it takes a 664 Polaroid to develop at room temperature. These 45 seconds command you to relax and be present. There is no reason to rush and no possibility of expediting the process of shooting the desired photographs. The 'common sense' of shooting portraiture in our shiny and bold digital age of photography is being de-programmed. The usual vast volume of produced images is purposely diminished, but the promised delivery of an instant proof, an image to observe, still remains. This project is the result of my venture into Polaroid portraiture and my vision of photographic aesthetics in capturing people.
The initial foundation for the Polatrait Series and this project was set in 2005 when I came across a 1937-built Zeiss Icon Nettar Camera at a flea market in my hometown of Bonn, Germany. After this (unknowingly significant) purchase and the first wave of photographic excitement – expressed in exposing the incredible amount of 3 rolls of 120 film - the camera was set aside and forgotten. Life went on and I went strictly digital for the majority of my photography and forgot about this camera.
At some point I bought a Polaroid back for my Hasselblad and started to use Instant pack film, made by FUJI. It was the beginning of what you will witness in the essence of this book. This acquaintance finally initiated the creation of the Pola-Zeiss Camera I used throughout this entire project to photograph my models.
What transpired next? After using the Hasselblad with the Polaroid proofing-back for a bit, I finally had the idea to merge my old Zeiss-Ikon with this particular film back. The result was the birth of a unique instant camera, paired with original old Polaroid 664 b&w pack-film – the perfect tool to create soulful imagery. The confluence of the flaws and rather soft qualities of the over 75-year-old Ettar-Anastigmat lens / Zeiss-Ikon Telmar shutter birthed a unique portraiture style that captured both the beauty and imperfections of each subject in an organic way. The unpredictable textures and distribution of chemicals in between the Polaroid sheets created photographs that were (and still are) like the purest fix for any addict to this medium.
I decided to use this unique creation exclusively for portraiture. Due to technical facts and fixed parameters - such as an extremely narrow focusing range due to the set back focusing plane and an un-adjusted prism viewfinder - I was working completely outside common expectations. I was able to interact with each participating model on a new, different, and more intimate level. The set would primarily be an authentic reflection of their personality through which they could express themselves organically. The use of a simple white background in combination with b&w film was chosen to highlight the true, unadulterated form of each individual.”
Philipp also sent me an email describing the setup of the exhibition and his reasons for starting the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds:
From December 8, 2012 - January 13, 2013 I have the incredible opportunity to exhibit this work in a solo show at Photobooth, a well-known gallery in San Francisco highlighting the work of artists who do Tynotype and Polaroid portraiture. In order to fully curate this show I've developed a Kickstarter campaign to help raise $2500 to fund this project and help to make this show at Photobooth happen. But here's the catch: I must raise all of the $2500 in only 10 days. If I do not raise the total amount, I'll receive none of the contributions.
To learn about my project and make a contribution, please visit my Kickstarter project page here:
All those who contribute will receive a special Polaroid Portraiture gift in return! Also, my show's Opening Night Party will take place on Saturday, December 8th from 7-10pm at Photobooth in San Francisco. All are welcome!
I reach out to you with tremendous gratitude for any monetary contribution you can offer. Also, the more exposure the better, so please also feel free to forward this to friends and family and/or post to you Facebook, Twitter, etc. pages!
Thank you again!
So, really, you probably want to support this. You should be able to tell through the video on his Kickstarter page that Philipp takes his craft and the viewing of his craft seriously. Show some love, spend some dough, get some fantastic art in the process. Passion begets art, art begets passion...and the whole world keeps spinning 'round because the two work in tandem. Get you some.