Album covers have often been an entry point for me to photographers…and so it was with Hiroshi Sugimoto, whose work graced the cover of U2’s “No Line On The Horizon“. Part of a collection of images entitled ‘Seascapes’ for which Sugimoto travelled the world for some 30 years photographing its seas. Seeking to compose each photograph identically, the repetition of each meeting between the sky and sea nevertheless resulted in no two horizons appearing exactly the same.
So…a test photograph for a possible later collection of my own?
An article by Thessaly La Force in Apollo, an on-line arts magazine revealed Sugimoto to be a collector himself, as well as a former antiques dealer. Referring to a series of photographs taken by Sugimoto of diaoramas of scenes of life on display at the American Museum of Natural History, La Force observed that ‘Sugimoto is a master of the long exposure and the large-format camera; the scenes are static and preserved, but in the true black and white tones of his gelatin silver prints, they are not entirely lifeless, either. Sugimoto’s ability to trick the eye – even in just an instant – juxtaposed with his open acknowledgement of the scene’s artificiality, demonstrates both his playful curiosity and also his rigorous technique. ‘The stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake,’ Sugimoto has said before of the Dioramas photographs. ‘Yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.’
The collector photographing the collection perhaps…