Inspiration: Michael Ackerman

As part of my inspirational series this time I write about Michael Ackerman. An Israeli-American photographer living in Berlin. Most definitely not a traditional street-photographer but more a photographer that uses the street as his playing field to connect with strangers, and for that reason (amongst others) a true source of inspiration.

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(c) photo by Michael Ackerman

Michael Ackerman's work is as much about light as photography can be. His work is carefully composed of what it shows, but even more of what it doesn't show, where light is absent, where it is literally leaning towards the dark side. And although carefully crafted, his work manages to stay instinctive and appears intuitive.

What I like about his work is that it is a non-descriptive statement about the human condition. He mirrors our behavior in a playful but confronting way. And although he uses theatrical elements as a form of amplification, none of his works loses genuity because of that. He carefully watches the balance.

"Although carefully crafted, his work manages to stay instinctive and appears intuitive."

What I also like is how he creates a new reality from what we see in daily life. Reality is actually the wrong word here, the opposite would be better. He creates a new unreality: a new definition of time and place, but also of how we perceive this and -consequently- how we describe it.

Seeing his work is like looking through a pinhole camera, straight into the human mind. In my believe his work is anecdotical and momentary, almost scattered. There is no narrative, no beginning, no end, just the unfolding of an untold story whose words are meant to fail. His emphasis on motion, even in static sceneries, suggests a quest, a soul search, a layered travel down the human spine where ratio is permanently overruled by elementary emotions of fear, despair and hunger.

"Seeing his work is like looking through a pinhole camera, straight into the human mind"

Though, in the end it's not fear that sticks with you after seeing his work: It's hope. It's the revelation that although through his work fear looks you straight in the eye, when fear can be THAT captivating, there is actually nothing to be afraid of.


Posted in: inspiration