2010-05-01

one picture at a time

Half a century of creative imagery by Swedish photographer Gunnar Smoliansky has been summarized in the exhibition One picture at a time ("En bild i taget") which can be seen in Dunkers kulturhus, Helsingborg. Always in monochrome, often minimalistic compositions in soft gray-scales, sometimes grainy, he explores his neighborhood, conceptualizing everyday scenes in Stockholm. The same street intersection gets revisited time and time again, decade after decade.

This is artistic photography at a level I cannot even relate to. How could I? I don't have his talent, I don't have his technical skills, I don't have 50+ years of experience in the field.

Smoliansky has been dubbed a "strolling photographer". In my opinion, that has got to be misleading. Just because we recognize the street where a photo has been taken does not mean it was snapped while passing by, the way we do. Far from it. This man has spent a lifetime patiently awaiting the right moment, exploring what we don't even notice, carefully capturing it - one picture at a time.

- If it's one thing I can't stand it's having others within view while I'm working with a picture, asking what I'm doing - Smoliansky explains.

There, finally, is something even I can relate to! I so recognize spending hours chasing a particular image, wanting to be left alone while pursuing this strange activity. Now, whether you're an amateur (like me) or not, be sure not to miss the work of Gunnar Smoliansky.
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