Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sylvia Gutierrez reviews Thomas Lang

          Thomas Lang is a French photographer whom began his artistic career by basically exploring all that he could like the theater, web, cinema and animal documentaries. It was not until 2008 when he decided to specialize as an independent photographer. Although his primary focus is mostly commercial photography, his travels have led him to work with different cities and observe/capture the interaction that each city has with its inhabitants and visitors. Lang explores the world of fine art photography by going through the analogue methods versus digital. By using film, he reimagines the tradition of a contact sheet through his series Gestalts, a German word that translates to “shape” in English. By using the layout of the contact sheet, Lang captures a single subject that has been then broken into a mosaic-like compositions of 36 images or creating fractured versions of the subject.
            This entire process is extremely meticulous and Lang achieves it beautifully. The development of one image, he had to anticipate the distribution of the frame on the contact sheet and determine the angle he had to take for each of the 36 photographs, as well as the order in which he had to realize his shots. Everything had to be planed beforehand, for if he failed at one point, the final composition would not seem as cohesive. This is where the human brain is quite impressive. Individually, each exposure is its own abstracted element but when placed correctly together, despite the few deliberate distortions, our brain takes in this optical illusion and manages to create a real and cohesive “shape”. Similar to Patrick-Bailly-Maître-Grand’s periphotography within his series Fromol’s Band, Lang creates an almost cylindrical motion throughout his images as the viewer is allowed to observe the scene or subject from multiple angles through construction and a deconstruction which our minds partake.

Gestalt series

Gestalt series 
Gestalt series

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