It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nature as Art – Art as Nature

[Karl Bossfeldt: Equisetum hiemale (magnified 12 times), E. maximum (magnified 4 times), E. hiemale (magnified 18 times). Photogravure, printed in 1928].
“The plant is to be seen as a wholly artistic-architectonic structure”
Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) was one of the most significant photographers of the early 20th century. I’m sharing the general opinion that his work still has a key position in 21st century photography. He was a German sculptor, photographer and professor at the Academy of the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin teaching “Live Plant Modelling”.
He used a home-made plate camera that he designed himself. This camera allowed him to greatly magnify the objects he was capturing, to up to 30 times their actual size. His photos were originally intended to be teaching material for his class and he devoted his life entirely for plants and the plant world. By 1932 he had made over 6000 photographs, most of them set up in the same way: an extreme close-up of a single plant.
Some of Karl Blossfeldt’s beautiful photo studies were published in Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature) 1928.

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