Fred Herzog // Vancouver Photographs

Born in Stuttgart in 1930, Herzog lived all the dramas of the second world war. Evacuation from his city during aerial bombardments and loss of his parents for consequences related to the conflict. As nothing was really keeping him in Europe, Herzog arrived in Canada in 1952 and never left. After a brief period in Montreal, he moved to Vancouver where he is still a resident. Since very young he took photographs but it’s in Canada that he started shooting seriously and non stop. His work mainly focus on working class, accidental photography, reality and sometimes architecture. His approach is sincere, ironic and candid.

After immigrating to Canada in the fifties, Fred Herzog devoted himself to what at the time was an unusual medium: color photography. In doing so, he breached entrenched visual habits and doctrines, which primarily assigned the status of art to black-and-white photography.

As a pioneer in the field of color photography, Herzog perfected his eye for the supposedly insignificant. His motifs are the streets of Vancouver, supermarkets, gas stations, bars, urban scenes, landscapes, and, again and again, the people in his environment—the heights and depths of the North American dream. He tested the potential of color photography as a medium for great objectivity and great artistry alike, and his critical gaze shows us the trivial, the ephemeral, and the apparently meaningless. Above all, however, color lends his photographs a unique atmosphere and force, and is ultimately what lends them such authenticity.

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Fred Herzog (1930, Alemania ) es un fotógrafo conocido sobre todo por sus instantáneas de la vida en Vancouver, Canadá. Su nombre es menos conocido que el de Joel Meyerowitz, Eggleston o Stephen Shore; fotógrafos que, apoyados por John Szarkowski, introdujeron la fotografía a color en la década de los 60. Sus trabajos, vistos y publicados en Estados Unidos y Europa, influyeron en el giro hacia el color de la próxima generación, y en particular de jóvenes fotógrafos alemanes.

Fred Herzog fue otro de los fotógrafos “marginados” que utilizó el color en los 50 y 60, cuando la mayoría del trabajo se encontraba en Blanco y Negro. Herzog trabajó principalmente con película de diapositivas (en su mayoría Kodachrome ), que además limitaba su capacidad para exponer. Sus fotografías se centran principalmente en la gente “común”, la clase obrera y sus conexiones con la ciudad y su entorno.

Desde entonces, ha producido un importante conjunto de fotografías, desde la vida urbana en tiendas de segunda mano, pasando por terrenos baldíos, letreros de neón y multitudes de personas que han poblado las calles de la ciudad a lo largo de los últimos cincuenta años como tema principal.

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