“Information should be achieved, not given”. I don’t want my photographs to be too obvious.
Name: Maciej Gruszecki
Hometown: Zgierz, Poland. Current residence: Birmingham, UK
Style of photography: Traditional, simple and modest, I’d like to believe. Not so obvious, I hope.
Type of camera(s): 6x6mm Medium Format Rolleiflex 6008, 65x24mm 35mm panoramic Hasselblad Xpan, 6×4.5cm-12x6cm Multi Format Zero Image 612B Camera Obscura
Website: http://maciejgruszecki.com & http://maciejgruszecki.wordpress.com
What gives you inspiration?
Things I see, things I read, I hear. Photographs by some others. Conversations with others. It is really quite hard to say. Different thoughts coming to me during the most ordinary daily activities.
What are your influences?
I cannot really say I follow this or that photographer. Every time I try to do ‘a Cartier-Bresson’ or do ‘an Adams’ or ‘a Binet’ I don’t really like the result. Of course, when trying to do a reportage you do have Cartier-Bresson in mind, when you do landscapes, you have Ansel Adams in mind, when you do architecture, you have Helene Binet in mind.
And of course, there are photographers I admire more than others. The Great Classics, obviously, you cannot admire them, some of them I have mentioned. I should add Saul Leiter (I will never be able to take shots like he does.. it is so unique). I should mention my recent ‘discoveries’: Thomas Struth and Irving Penn. They do inspire some of my ideas a lot recently, not yet my work though. I should also mention the Polish photographer Wojtek Wieteska (his NYC’02 series was a wonderful experience to me back in 2002, shortly after I saw New York for the first time).
Also, there are a lot of great photographers all over the world, which I keep seeing for example on Flickr (a short list of my favourites I mention on my blog – the (Ana)logbook, which I have just started at http://maciejgruszecki.wordpress.com, like Jens Windolf or Ian Land in particular.
Why did you choose these photos?
You asked for four photographs. It is not easy to choose four images to present yourself. I suspect you automatically choose ‘the best ones’, which is also not an easy task. I took two types of photographs. The first two represent something I call ‘Photography of Absence’ which seems to occupy my mind a lot and it is about finding life where it is not apparent in the first sight. That is something that really draws me. The other two are different and are something a bit less obvious in my work but what becomes gradually more and more the theme of my work and thoughts, people. These two are not portraits in the usual sense, yet it is a part of my preparation to portraits: classic, traditional black and white portraits, and that is something I think about very intensely.
What does photography mean to you?
Well I guess it is simply my way of creative expression, expression of the way I see the world. And it is not only through the crops I choose but also through the choice of traditional analogue, mostly black and white technique. All it conveys, I believe, my approach to todays world. It is trying to simplify things, pause and focus on things. Maybe make things slightly.. unreal or a bit out of date. Maybe try to make viewers thin for a while, look for something for a while. It’s a bit like Ian Anderson of the Designers Republic said: Information should be achieved, not given. I don’t want my photographs to be too obvious.
I don’t believe I can change the world with my photography or anything that big. Which doesn’t mean photography is not important.
Copyright reserved by Maciej Gruszecki