Thursday, February 21, 2008

NOT The Sartorialist



Earlier this month I received this e-mail:

Dear members of the gallery,
Im an German photographer. I've seen your currend exhibition, and it could be, that you are interested in my work. Please have a moment to check out: www.tubke.info. If you want, I can send my book to you, or I can come over to see you, which would be great. Last year I was in an group exhibition at the Tate Britain "How we are, photographing Britain", curated by Val Williams. I attached one of my portraits for you in this email. I'm looking forward hearing from you,
best wishes,
Albrecht Tübke


As I usually do when people send me a link, I took a look. My immediate reaction was that the pictures were way too close to The Sartorialist’s work to be of any interest to me, but the surprising thing was the pictures were pretty good!

I e-mailed back to that effect in reply to which Mr Tubke then followed up with a phone call where we had an interesting conversation. Tubke’s process is quite the opposite of Sart’s. He chooses a location and waits endlessly for the “right” person to come by and inspire him. (Sart’s a hunter, Tubke’s a gatherer.) Tubke works thematically shooting specific series one at a time and he's much more of a traditionalist - shooting on film, engaging with the traditional gallery/museum axis, and dealing much more with archetypical typologies (city folk, country folk, twins) whereas one of the great elements of Sart’s work is how much and in how many ways it deals with the here and now.

Anyway, I told Tubke I would be happy to post something about his work and see what response we got from the blog. So please enter a comment. And dealers, feel free to contact Mr. Tubke if you would like to show his work.







14 comments:

B. said...

Very different. The Sartotialist is very American, very polished, very glamourous. Tubke seems less so, but no less interesting.

sphinxvictorian said...

I have just devoured your blog from newest to oldest post. It was the most interesting and artistically educational two hours I've spent in a long time. You have introduced me, in that brief space of time, to some amazing photographers, for which I thank you a thousand times.

I found you through the Sartorialist's blog, which I read because I am a costume historian and aesthete, and also a student of human nature. Your blog will be a welcome addition to my morning blog reads!

Thank you again for such a beautiful and challenging place to come to on the web.

Molly Stevens said...

It's the mood that, in general, make these so different from the Sartorialist. These (except for the top two) have a severe, a melancholic quality. And they're more staid. More in the vein of Sander.

I can see why he's pitching to the gallery/museum axis. It tends to go for gravitas.

Barry said...

These images capture the weight of human life in a way that is nearly absent in Sart's work. Although some of the figures could be viewed as "stylish," none have the blithe joie de vivre of Sart's work.

While you (Danziger) may perceive a quality of "here and now" in Sart's imagery, the Sartorialist, of course, carefully creates his own "here" and "now." Which has nothing to do with here and now.

Tubke simply selects a different "here and now" -- one that looks beyond clothing's shell -- which might arise directly from his method.

Federico said...

I'm surprised you hadn't come across his work before. I like -and prefer- Tübke. I also think his work is very different from The Sartorialist's, not only his method as you point out, but his results as some previous commenter stated. However, on a superficial level (and that's all it takes, perhaps) their work are too much alike for them to be hanged in the same gallery. It would confuse potential buyers?

Joanna Goddard said...

i love these. the two young girls look like a Loretta Lux study. and the last two images have almost a diane arbus quality to them. i think he does such great work--the expressions, the body language all engage the viewer and tell a story.

these are similar visually to the sartorialist but the mood is so different -- and they seem much less about fashion and much more about personality/expression/culture.

great find!!

Anonymous said...

Challenging takes on architectural photography (or images that can be interpreted that way) interest me, and I find Tübke's concept interesting as a way of dealing with people in buildings, treating building surfaces as two-dimensional backdrop material. Rich lady and marble, casual guy and brick...along with the static compositions there are complications here.

I second the thought ventured above, that this work is more like Sander's than the Sartorialist's is. I guess I am also reminded of the Bechers, notwithstanding the different subject matter, and the work of a more contemporary German photographer who took photos of security guards at building entrances (of which there are two as a rule).

Alice Olive said...

I agree - a different approach to the Sartorialist. I love that the background is so important and that he waits for the right person. Perhaps it's corny to say this but they definitely have a European feel to them and also feel more 'deliberate' than the Sartorialist. Like there is a strategy/purpose to the capture of an everyday subject. I really like these. As a collection, this would be a wonderful exhibit. Kudos to Mr Tubke!

Anonymous said...

The story-thread is a crucial element to viewing these photos (although they're interesting enough to stand on their own) and that (plus tone and texture) makes them very different from the Sartorialist's work.

I'd love to see these together in a book

Or hung as life-size prints with their own room in a museum.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Tubke.

-- desertwind

Anonymous said...

I see on Mr. Tubke's site that he was born in Leipzig (1971) and now lives in Italy. I wonder how this has influenced his work.

Anonymous said...

These people have some wonderful character and serious attitude!

I would like to know more about her/his process of taking the picture, is s/he creating this attitude in her/his subject?

Anonymous said...

Here’s the dilemma and the strength of photography. It’s the easiest medium in which to be competent. But, it’s the hardest medium in which to have personal vision that is readily identifiable. - Chuck Close

When it's that easy to have to people who look so a like I wonder about the quality of either. Personally I find both equally boring.

Talentless But Well-Connected said...

I'm loving this work, it's like a modern take on Sander's photography and are beautifully shot! Though the subject matter does have similarities to Arbus, I feel these people are shot in a much more flattering light with an air of respect for the subjects.

nina said...

The last 3-4 images indeed look like modern day August Sander. The Satorialist for me is about beauty and utopia, these are about something else. I went to Mr. Tuebke's site and thought the 'water head portraits' were interesting - I would be interested in seeing more of those.