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ABOUT ME AND MY ART

 

On my two trips around the world, I had the unique opportunity to explore the world from a completely new perspective and to fully exploit my creative potential. In total, I covered 70,000 kilometers on various continents during my travels and captured fascinating moments in unique images.

 

There is no fixed theme in my art, but what distinguishes my work is the maximum creativity that I express in different areas and with a wide variety of camera systems and concepts. My art is as diverse as the world itself and I love exploring the endless possibilities of photography.

 

Some of my images are unique snapshots that will never return. They are frozen moments captured for eternity. The beauty of the world often reveals itself in fleeting moments, and it is my passion to capture these moments and share them with others.

 

My large-format prints were created in places that are difficult to access or were realized with special recording systems that few people know about. Through these unique approaches, I want to invite viewers to look at the world from a different perspective.

In conclusion, my art is a journey through the beauty and diversity of our world. It is a reflection of my passion for the unknown and an invitation to see the world with new eyes.

Look forward to a new way of looking at things that my art conveys. My dream is to be back in my car next summer and to travel to a new continent. The second part of the Panem Americans is waiting for me and I want to start my journey in Canada and generate unique landscape photos again. In the evening I want to edit my pictures, layout and show them to my community. It will then be possible to sell these pictures through my shop while I am traveling. With this money it will be possible to continue my journey and find new countries and motifs. Look forward to me, I will gradually fill this shop with even more photos and I look forward to presenting my selected pictures to you.

ABOUT ME
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STATEMENT

ARTIST STATEMENT

TRUCKS.13

The most beautiful trucks in the world 

 

In 2013, I actually only wanted to drive through this country for six days on my trip around the world, but it ended up being six weeks. Back then, one car a week drove through Pakistan. The reason for this was that you had to apply for a visa in your home country and many world travelers were unable to do so. The government also provided all tourists with a military escort back then. So I was more or less well guarded for six days and had to stay in special accommodation where I was protected around the clock. Even when I went supermarket shopping, a soldier with a machine gun accompanied me. At some point, this intensive care came to an end. A few hours' drive from the city of Lahore, I was able to move around freely again. Everywhere I looked, I could see small workshops producing car parts and each of the trucks was beautifully painted. I was fascinated by this craft that the people there practise. Why do you paint these trucks at all? I asked myself, and the answer I got was because it's practically a kind of business card for the owner of the truck. A beautiful truck also stands for a successful business. There is the classic painting, reminiscent of the artist Bob Ross. Beautiful motifs, sometimes very kitschy, sometimes artificial, but always very expressive and painted in bold colors. Frequent motifs are tigers, love and anything romantic you can imagine. The second technique is executed with so-called mirror foils. These are cut out with incredible skill using scissors and a cutter knife and assembled into mosaics. The last of the three techniques are aluminum plates, which are punched and hammered and finally processed into beautiful panels. For me, these are the most beautiful trucks in the world. Nowhere else in the world are there more colorful trucks. I took this unique series of photos with a special robotic arm back then. The picture was taken with a telephoto lens, which doesn't really suit the end game in terms of photography. I programmed the top left corner and the bottom right corner of the image and the robotic arm scanned the image automatically. I wanted the resolution of my photos to be as high as possible so that I could later make them available to my customers in large formats. Every tiny brushstroke is visible and I retouched away the surroundings in which the truck was standing using Photoshop to draw maximum attention to the image. Some of the trucks were parked close together in parking lots in not-so-nice areas. For some of the vehicles, I integrated the stones that are supposed to prevent the tires from rolling away into the picture. Here I want to show that the environment in Pakistan can sometimes be very dusty and not very inviting. These small details are important to me and at the same time it is grotesque that such a beautiful truck, which has been elaborately decorated over hundreds of working hours, has to be secured to prevent it from rolling away. For me, this photo series is one of my most expressive projects and I am more than proud of it. I would like to see them hanging in international galleries, in large formats, so that the trucks are shown to their best advantage and the viewer has the unique feeling of practically standing in front of one of these trucks. 

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

DUBAI.08

This incredible city

 

Beautiful, high-resolution medium format images of the Dubai that no longer exists. At the time of the construction of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, I succeeded in capturing pictures worth seeing of this incredible metropolis.

I photographed a lot at night and this project was a bit dangerous at the time, as there was always the danger that the local police would object to the photos and it could lead to complications.

Digital photography was not yet up to date and so I decided to use the detailed medium format. This also had the advantage that the final image could not be shown during an inspection, as it was captured on film. The photos show work on the construction sites, which are raising the skyscrapers at night under the most difficult conditions. A man sits in front of an empty hotel pool, or gigantic road junctions can be seen with the skyscrapers towering in the background. I play with reflections and overexposure and contrast the glamorous facades of glittering Dubai with the construction sites where the workers are toiling away.

 

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

LANDSCAPE

I saw incredible beauty!

 

After my second trip around the world at the latest, I would really describe myself as an outdoorsman. I've spent so much time in nature and that has shaped me so much, because I've almost always slept in the roof tent at night and I don't think you can be any closer to nature. Only a thin sheet separates me from an incredibly beautiful sky, from a beach glistening in the moonlight or from the mountains. Of course, this also had an impact on my photography and I mainly used my drone as a stylistic device. The only time I didn't have a drone was on my first trip in 2012, when I photographed normally with my SLR camera. It wasn't always a good idea to take a panoramic picture. Sometimes the normal format is better and it is much easier to capture spectacular images than always taking the extremely wide panoramic format into account. Many of these pictures were taken on the way to Tibet. There were many countries in between, but there is no common thread running through the photo series. 

The only connection between the pictures is often the surreal approach I take to capturing the unreal, the unusual, the incomprehensible in the motif. For example, the picture “Aquarium”, because I took it in Turkey. It represents exactly this style. A large, massive rock in which people lived thousands of years ago, and next to it an abandoned aquarium that someone apparently didn't pick up. The whole picture is very soft in contrast. The viewer immediately wonders whether such a place really exists in the world or whether I put this picture together on the computer. It's important for me to do without artificial intelligence at the moment. I want to photograph a real landscape. I don't want to add a sky to the picture afterwards. If necessary, all my pictures will be given a certificate that they are not AI-generated. I could tell a little story about each picture in this series. I plan to make a short video about each image in my store to better explain the image. I think it's quite unique for an artist to be so transparent about their paintings. But it's very important to me that people understand my art even better. I've been to too many exhibitions in my life where I got almost no information about the artist or the painting. I want to change that with the videos. Be curious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

PANAMERICANA

Drone footage of the most beautiful road on earth

 

After my first trip around the world took me to India, more precisely to Calcutta, the easternmost point that could be reached by car at the time, I decided to drive the most beautiful road in the world. 

The Panamericana starts in Alaska and winds its way 25,000 km to the southernmost point on earth - Ushuaia. I had a lot of video and photo equipment with me in my Toyota, but it quickly became clear that drone photography fascinated me the most. That's why I concentrated exclusively on it and ended up with a series of 20 epic images.  The common thread running through my photos is the loneliness that I experienced, which was very painful at times and also represented the biggest challenge of this trip. I met a lot of travelers along the way who were also traveling by car. Normally I would say that 90% of people travel with a loved one in the passenger seat, but I planned this trip alone from the outset and arrived at my destination in Colombia, the coastal city of Cartagena. 

This is the northernmost point on this continent. At least in the area of the Panamericana road system.

I was on the road every day in the various countries and I flew my drone at practically every opportunity. I specialized in panoramas, which I put together from different shots using elaborate post-production. 

This focus on uniqueness also runs through my entire photographic career and my entire artistic work, in that I want to generate images that cannot be easily copied because they sometimes require a very high level of technical knowledge and are difficult to realize. I didn't have a direct central theme in my pictures; when I felt like it, I went to the car, took out the drone and let it fly to the Tel at an altitude of 4500 m, where very few people would even let their drone fly. With my drone, I can reach almost any place in the area, and I can look down on unique landscapes and create surreal images. In the seven countries I've traveled to, I've always come across subjects that were unique and can't be found anywhere else in the world. Because it was sometimes dangerous due to the security situation, or of course incredibly exhausting to climb any mountain peaks, I was of course also happy to travel alone and not have to take a partner or children into consideration. 

This series comprises 22 shots with an impressive level of detail and color that none of my previous shots have achieved. I let the drone take off in the center of Buenos Aires or hover in the flight path of a small local airport, of course, taking into account the respective laws. My main motif in this photo series is the Panamericana road system itself. I have driven 37,000 km on this legendary road and have been able to capture the most beautiful routes and landscapes from a bird's eye view. You've never seen the world like this before.

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

SHANGHAI.05

Irretrievable images from Shanghai

 

How can that be? Every shot can be recreated. The clear answer is no. Let me give you a brief introduction. Back in 2005, I read an article in my favorite magazine, Max, about the up-and-coming China and the budding global metropolis of Shanghai. At the time, I was working as a professional beauty photographer and wanted to emigrate to this place of longing to get new creative impulses and to show you the western style that was not yet present in society at the time. So I packed my things and went there full of joy. Unfortunately, nobody at the international advertising agencies could understand me. At the time, only a few people really spoke English. I gave up at some point and spent most of my time wandering around the fascinating metropolis at night, like a lone wolf. At that time, the financial district in today's Pudong was still a mix of old villas and huge construction sites for the future prefabricated buildings or high-rise developments. There was already the city's landmark, the Pearl Tower, which fascinated me right from the start with its shape. I spent nights there and experimented a lot with long exposure shots during this time. At that time, Instagram didn't yet exist and digital cameras weren't up to today's standards either. With the rusty picture frames specially made for the accompanying exhibition, I want to show the decay of old Shanghai, which was erased by the Chinese leadership. For example, one picture shows a single shining villa that is still standing, while everything outside has been torn down and the city planners are erecting anonymous high-rise buildings in the background. It's a bit like the rainforest that the Brazilian government is clearing every day to later establish a palm oil plantation. As this metropolis was so unique and so incredibly different to what I knew, I naturally experimented a lot with street photography. All I had to do was pull out my camera and walk down the street and a new world opened up for me. I think the pictures show the dreariness and loneliness of China at that time, but also the bizarre and grotesque situations that I found, which of course would never happen in Europe. The series comprises 15 photographs, which I framed in specially prepared rusty frames. I am proud to have realized this unique contemporary document and to have frozen it for eternity. Following my trip, I presented my photographs to a very interested audience in an exhibition.

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

WIDE PANOS

I love this format

 

On my first trip around the world, which took me from Munich to Tibet, I took pictures of landscapes and people that cannot be assigned to any of the other categories. Panoramas from the hottest place on earth, the Lut desert, or in the Turkish Kapadokia, where I was able to capture the launch of hundreds of balloons. These pictures were taken in 2012, and back then there was no rush of influencers and wannabe fortographers, so my pictures are formative. I was able to photograph the launches of the hot air balloons, hundreds of which then took to the skies, unhindered. Another picture shows a wishing tree standing in the middle of the Turkish landscape. I was more than fascinated by this perfect arrangement of three trees. Hanging on a tree. Wishes in the form of slips of paper hang from the middle tree and on the far left are colored amulets that people have hung in the tree. In combination with this barren, unreal landscape, it is a perfect picture for me.

I could write a separate story about the creation of each of these pictures, but that would go beyond the scope of this article.

For me, the panorama format is a wonderful format comparable to the Cinemascope format in movies. I've been working as a cameraman for 25 years in a wide variety of areas alongside my photography. Of course, it is a challenge to take a picture in such a slim format. With some images, it's simply obvious that I generate a super-slim, extremely wide panoramic image with such scenery.

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

FIRST WORLDTRIP

From Munich to Tibet

 

I've always been a keen traveller, but in 2012 I had to get into my Bluey car and drive eastwards until I couldn't go any further. At that time, the geopolitical situation was such that it was possible to drive as far as India, but entry to Myanmar was not granted. Of course, it would have been possible to travel to China via Mongolia, but as I was travelling alone, this route was out of the question. So the route was quickly decided. I looked at countries more intensively than others. I was enchanted by Romania, for example, as the country is still quite unspoilt and I stayed there for two months. I left Bulgaria behind me in one day and then travelled to Turkey, where I also stayed for a whole two months. Unfortunately, I didn't have such a good experience in Turkey either, as I was attacked, shot at and robbed. But the journey continued anyway. I have always been a fighter and giving up was not an option. I had a wonderful time in Iran. Every world traveller raves about the hospitality of the Iranians. I also spent two months in this country and was inspired by the deserts, the mountain regions and the Persian Gulf. Entering Pakistan was a major challenge. It is only possible to cross this country with a military escort. Especially in the Balochistan region in the west, it is very dangerous for tourists. That was of course a unique experience and at some point the escort left me and they told me that it would be safe for Westerners from now on. And so it was, and I had an incredibly enjoyable time in the city of Lahore, because I was able to concentrate fully on the truck painting project. Alongside my photo projects, I was also able to film a documentary worth seeing. After six weeks, I had to move on to keep to my schedule and India was on the cards. I spent months there and saw some really incredibly beautiful locations and met fascinating people. If you have travelled to India, I think you can travel to any other country in the world, as there are simply too many people there. I was practically never alone, I felt like a superstar surrounded by paparazzi. I was constantly being approached and everyone wanted to talk to me, even though they might only know a single sentence of English. After a short detour to the roof of the world in Nepal, I ended the trip in Calcutta. At the time, it was simply not possible to travel further west and I reached my destination after 37,000 kilometres. I travelled for eleven months and took thousands of pictures, which you can see here on this homepage.

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

TRUCKPAINTER

Wonderful people with unique skills

 

The pictures of the truck painters were all taken in the city of Labore, where I spent a total of six weeks, which is really a lot, as I originally only wanted to cross the country in six days. I had taken simple accommodation, with such wonderful and kind-hearted people, which is really difficult, was my next destination to head for.

I went out every day and looked at the workshops and backyards that were needed to decorate the trucks. I was able to move freely around the city, and that's how I created these beautiful portraits, which all have to do with truck art. When I look at my pictures, these stories of the warmth and cordiality of the Pakistanis immediately come to mind. They all thought that I was a National Geographic photographer and that they would appear in the next issue. What I can see in the pictures is pride and joy and an incredible curiosity about everything Western. I have always loved portraying people and this series shows that I can approach foreign cultures and get closer to them. I am still deeply impressed by the picture with the four children presenting themselves in a fighting pose in front of my camera, the truck painter laughing heartily in front of his vehicle or the man who could be in any Tarantino movie, I would immediately give him a leading role. 

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

SADHUS

The holy men

 

The pictures of the holy men were all taken on my first trip around the world. I spent months in India and set myself the goal of portraying the holy men, the sadhus. Preferably when they are smoking their beloved marijuana, because that just gives the picture a very nice added effect. Unfortunately, many of the sadhus were afraid of the police and didn't want to smoke in front of my camera, but of course I was able to capture wonderful portraits of them. What particularly impressed me about these fascinating Indians is their magical aura, which is reflected in the portraits. Some of the holy men are very alert and have fascinating eyes. 

I love these photos because the presence and joy that these men radiate is infectious. In total, I focused on 15 holy men for this project. All of them were incredibly kind and approachable and, of course, very interested in how they would be received by people in the West.

Using special filters, I was able to recreate the look of analog film and add even more contrast and also film grain to the images.

ARTIST STATEMENT 

LIFT.11

What is reality?

 

As the name suggests, LIFT.11 was created in 2011.

This project is all about manipulation. What is reality, what was created on the computer. Once again, I photographed ski resorts in extremely high resolution with my tried and tested robotic arm. In some cases, I took several hundred pictures of the same motif, which I later put together on the computer. I would like to take this opportunity to mention that the images are not Ki-generated. 

When looking at the pictures, it is not possible to judge whether this scene really took place or whether it has been manipulated on the computer. 

I have duplicated the individual skiers and then moved them to other positions and inserted them into new formations in the picture.

I can't deny that I'm a huge fan of the German photographer Andreas Gursky. He also manipulates images, duplicates people and achieves an incredible effect.

When looking at my pictures, the question inevitably arises as to whether the individual skiers might have coordinated themselves and then skied in larger groups. How likely is that? Is that even technically feasible? The LIFT.11 series only comprises five images, so this series is quite small, as the post production costs are immense.

I haven't finished the project yet because I preferred other shots. However, I estimate that I will be able to present the five pictures here on this store in the summer. You can look forward to this unique photo project.

 

 

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

TICKLE ON GREEN

The tortured laughter

 

As is so often the case with my work, this project is about manipulation and the deliberate distortion of reality. Nothing is real, everything is fake. In the finished picture, the viewer sees beautiful, refreshing portraits of smiling people who appear to be standing on a green lawn. The world seems to be in balance. Different portraits of people from twenty countries immediately create a good mood that is infectious, but appearances are deceptive.

The laughter is just tortured! A shock, how can that be? The person portrayed is in a good mood. A video installation recorded separately with the project quickly makes it clear that something is happening here that doesn't really fit the context.

The project wants to use the images to draw attention to the transnational torture that still takes place in various regions of the world. A goat, which cannot be seen in the picture, licks the salt from the subject's feet.

This method of torture actually existed in Germany in the Middle Ages. At that time, delinquents were paraded in the marketplace and the goat's tongue then caused incredible pain over time. The series will comprise 15 images created by 15 people from different nations. This project will be realized in summer 2024 and will certainly find a large viral community through the accompanying video installation.

KONTAKT
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THEPOSTCARDMAN
Matthias Barth
Belfortstrasse 9
81667 München
GERMANY

+49 151 22327497
info@thepostcardman.de

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