LoosenArt Mag / Gallery

Frank Machalowski

Posted on December 19 2017

The most of the people trust a photograph as a contemporary document. I use multiple exposure and other analog and digital techniques to create a universe that runs parallel to but ultimately departs from our own, existing in the ambiguous realm between real life and make-believe..

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The most of the people trust a photograph as a contemporary document. I use multiple exposure and other analog and digital techniques to create a universe that runs parallel to but ultimately departs from our own, existing in the ambiguous realm between real life and make-believe.. I describes my intention to provoke a questioning or uncertainty about the nature of fiction in the viewer. - F. M.

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German by birth and still living in Berlin, Frank Machalowski is a talented photographer. With a background and a long experience in the economic field, in 2011 he decides to leave his job and embrace photography, his long-lasting passion since when he was a child. And he does that fully, using different methods and multiple instruments that allows him to accurately plan and master every image, from the subject to the colours.

His work, actually, is the result of both digital and analogical techniques, of tradition and modernity: in other words, it is a well-balanced, harmonious compromise. Tierwald, for example, is an ongoing series where Machalowski layers fiction and reality, authenticity and artificiality. The result is a sequence of black and white images portraying moving animals in a still and silent natural background.
From one side there is the German forest, analogically captured as natural, fascinating environment, and from the other (often exotic) animals, portrayed at the zoo with the help of the digital camera. The result is a captivating and at the same time alienating scene that the observer tries to understand and, then, just to appreciate as it is: a wonderful and poetic contradiction.

All his creative skills are confirmed by the numerous prizes he has been awarded with. Among the most important, it is worth remembering the first places gained at the London Photo Festival (2016 and 2017) and at the Golden Camera Award in Kiev (2015). Moreover, he has been participating to several exhibitions such as the collective show recently hosted at the Carpentier Gallery in Berlin (2017) or the solo shows organised in Leipzig (2017 and 2016). His photographic projects, focused on natural, architectural as well as human environments, are also published on specialised magazines, catalogues and books.

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Author Silvia Colombo

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L.A.: Frank how and when did you become interested in photography? Who were the first artists that you found inspiring?
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Frank Machalowski: When i was a little child, my father spend his leisure photographing and was often in his own darkroom. So i was fascinated by this process. Later i bought my first camera and tested it thoroughly. Over the years i began to lose interest in photography. In the early 2000, when the first digital cameras came to the market, my passion was reawakened. Today I am delighted by the charming characteristics and atmosphere of analogue bw film photography in all its facets. So I develope all of my photos by my own and print some images in the darkroom. In some of my artworks I try to combine the digital and analogue techniques. Since 2011 I'm a freelance photographer and artist. I have a lot of inspiring photographers. For me, the most fascinated photographers are Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Ackermann and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I love the subtle poetic visual language of Sugimoto, Ackermanns purposeful treatment of light and the artistic skills of daily life from Bresson. All of the three are masters of bw photography.
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L.A.: What do you like most about working with the medium of photography?
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Frank Machalowski: I'm fascinated by all the facets of photography. You can change the character of an image in thousend ways. I like to work in darkroom with tradional old methods. I like all the ways you can change the character of the print with a non digital workflow. But i also like to work with photoshop. It has always been a challange for me to create images wich does not show that they manipulated.
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Tierwald#66 │ Buy it
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L.A.: All your photographic repertoire seems to include only black and white images, is there any particular reason that takes you to work in this way?
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Frank Machalowski: I think in bw photography there is no distraction by strange colors, it's more directly. Furthermore i love the work in the darkroom to control bw material by chemicals (contrast, pushing, toning etc.).
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L.A.: Can you tell us a bit about your project "Tierwald"? How long did you work on it?
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Frank Machalowski: I lived near a forest, for years. I had spent plenty of time photographing there in the mist. I was fascinated by the silence and the peaceful atmosphere and, whilst watching a deer there on one occasion, decided to recreate the splendour of the moment artificially, with more exotic species. The forests in this pictures are typical german forests and the animals are from Zoos. The animal photographs are mostly digital and the photographs of the forests are all analogue, taken on a medium format 6x6 camera or 35mm, which are developed using traditional chemical processing before scanning the negatives. The rest is work with photoshop. At first I photographed it wildly (both – animals and forest), but by now i take care what animal poses i can use with my forest images and vice versa. The series starts at the year 2012. I'm still working on it.
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Tierwald#4 │ Buy it
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Tierwald#74 │ Buy it
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L.A.: What do you hope people see, feel or understand when they look at your images?
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Frank Machalowski: The most of the people trust a photograph as a contemporary document. I use multiple exposure and other analog and digital techniques to create a universe that runs parallel to but ultimately departs from our own, existing in the ambiguous realm between real life and make-believe. The question of reality is pertinent for me: I describes my intention to provoke a questioning or uncertainty about the nature of fiction in the viewer. At times, I see the series 'tierwald' as a future without human beings. The animals have reconquered their habitats like in some science fiction books.
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L.A.: What are your future plans/projects or aspirations?
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Frank Machalowski: At the moment I'm working on a new camera, wich work with medium format film. A lenseless pinhole camera for a new series in the urban environment.
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Tierwald#120 │ Buy it
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Tierwald#13 │ Buy it
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BUY IT NOW View Frank Machalowski
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Frank Machalowski www.machalowski.de
 
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