Today we share the work of Jürgen Bürgin. His portfolio was one of the selections in the 2017 Call for Entry.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am German photographer focussing on street and documentary photography. My daily job is in the movie business and my love for movies has always influenced my photographs.
How did you get started in photography?
It was mid-life crisis. Others buy a Porsche or a motorbike, I decided to do something creative. So I started to discover life in Berlin and to find out that there was a genre called “street photography”. I bought every available photobook about street photography and about other genres and I started to visit lots of photography exhibitions here in Berlin.
Would you share with us one image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time?
Oh, that’s difficult. Maybe one from the Subway series by Bruce Davidson. Maybe the book cover, the young guy without a shirt and a cross on a necklace.
Which photographers’ and other artists’ work do you admire?
That’s somehow changing on a weekly basis, some of those who remain for a long time are Josef Koudelka, Bruce Davidson, Joel Meyerowitz, Garry Winogrand, William Klein, Saul Leiter, Ken Schles etc. Currently there are also some photographers I admire outside the street genre: Kristamas Klousch, Alisa Resnik, Bill Henson, Francesca Woodman. But it’s definitely also the work of painters who are influencing me: Edward Hopper or Lucian Freud. And director’s: maybe Truffaut, and Wong Kar-Wai just to name two.
What has been your most memorable experience as far as your photographic work is concerned?
The experience of talking to visitors at my exhibitions. It’s like being on stage as an actor or to give a concert as a musician. It’s exciting, rewarding, funny, emotional. I love to talk to people about my photographs, and that’s the best way to do it: Talking to them at the openings of my shows, ask them how they feel looking at my photos, what their favorite photos are and so on. That is so amazing.
Please tell us about the portfolio of work you submitted to our call.
It’s a black and white version of my “Urban Fever” series, a series of mostly street photographs that are narrative, storytelling, emotional, moody. Some of them were in exhibitions all around the world, in Sydney, Berlin, New York and more. Last year I’ve published a photobook called “Urban Fever – Scenes from city life” with this series.
What Image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson?
Maybe my Lincoln Lady photo. It was one of the photos that showed be how to be narrative or cinematic, how to tell a story with one photograph.
What makes a good day for you creatively speaking ?
When I find a new way to make my two-year old son laugh and be happy.
Do you have any favorite pieces of equipment that you find essential in the making of your work?
To quote Matt Stuart: Buy a pair of comfortable shoes . . . I don’t care about that technical stuff and I hate all those technical discussions.
What is on the horizon?
I’m currently preparing a book about boxing and one about the circus. And I’ll do a series about Berlin where I live.
To learn more about the work of Jürgen Bürgin please visit his site at Jürgen Bürgin.
Thank you Jürgen.