Feature: Andreas Gursky
By Efrem Zelony-Mindell
The power of his photograph’s scale is in the beating values of color and the tactile quality of voluminous details. There is an undeniable implication of the Earth in nearly every frame of Gursky’s. Fields of solar panels surf across the hills in the image Les Mées, 2016, an impeccable pattern of repetition that absorbs light as it skirts the green hills even on a cloudy day. Our closest star, the sun, stares into the eyes of all these rows of machines, reflecting back into Gursky’s camera, and then sinking into the pupils of viewers.
Huge portions of visual work happen instantly in a Gursky photograph. Something so massive becomes so wrapped up in instantaneously small parts and then traverses back again into the gargantuan.Gursky is no stranger to the play between macro and micro. An individual’s interpretation dissects the imagery, coursing the veins of mountains and fields and aisles filled with shelves of stuff. The objectivity and commodity of Gursky’s imagery has always been as significant as the implication of the planet.
Humanity’s consumption is possessed in the desire to touch all of these brilliant different colors and forms; vacuums and irons, clocks and coffee machines, pillars of packages and all sorts of odds and ends—so wonderfully placed—frozen in pose begging for thoughtful inspection. It’s interesting how scale plays on time; waiting and looking is so pivotal when trying to see the bigger picture. Perception is variant and personal, but it is inescapably only one part of reality. Off in the distance of Gursky’s image El Ejido, 2017 there’s a whole unseen world of lives living, working, breathing, feeding, and growing. The foreground cluttered with garbage suggests so many inquiries about what this place is and how the families and farmers who inhabit this Spanish municipality interact with the land.
To read the full interview with Andreas Gursky click here.