In today's world of hyper-exposure to media and art, it is a rare occurrence when a piece just grabs you by the heartstrings. Day in and day out you see another reiteration of the same old concept. But every once in a while, there's that moment when you come across another photographer’s work that leaves you in awe of their talent and unique vision. It's the kind of work that inspires you, and also makes you a bit jealous for not coming up with it yourself.
The latest series ‘Roof Tops’ from photographer Michael Wolf does exactly that. His unique images of the city of Paris are so refreshingly pure, they could be mistaken for 19th century paintings. There’s something very poetic in the abstract patterns that comprise the images, very reminiscent of a Cubist painting. “I had some Fernand Léger paintings of cities in the back of my mind, and Mondrian’s as well.”
I found myself staring at Wolf’s images for quite a while. The simplicity of the abstract pulls you in. and the muted color palate is very intentional. “I prefer muted colors, so I shoot only on overcast days.”
It is an invitation to a view of Paris you most likely never got to see on that romantic trip. A side of Paris that only an insider can discover. “I live in Paris part of the year and had the opportunity to go out on a top floor balcony of a friend’s apartment and was fascinated by the patterns of the chimneys. It was a perspective one rarely sees Paris from. I decided to pursue the idea, and worked with a researcher and some friends to find locations. Church spires are great locations, as every arrondissement has at least two or three.”
It's the kind of photography you want to have hanging on your walls, to make your friends jealous for your taste in art. The kind of photography that makes it to museum exhibitions, and thus future text books for the next generation of photographers to learn from.
As an architectural photographer myself, I know about the importance of the point of view, basically, where you stand is super important in order to achieve the look and mood you are going for, quite often not considering personal comfort. “All images were shot from rooftops, or from chimney ledges.”
I am eagerly looking foreword to see what Michael Wolf comes up with next. I'll be waiting.
Michael’s ‘Paris Abstract’ series is currently showcased at the Robert Koch Gallery in San Fransisco.
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Images are posted with Artist's permission.