Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Goran Bertok, new creative portrait

with 8 comments

goran bertok 20110215_4205

Goran Bertok is a controversial artist / photographer. On Thursday 17th of February 2011 (that’s tomorrow) he has an opening of an exhibition in Simulaker Gallery, Novo mesto, Slovenia, EU. The exhibition is entitled Dead Nature and it’s a selection of photographs from his series Post Mortem and Red. Last year he won a prize as the best exhibition at Month of Photography 2010 in Slovenia. You can read more about his work on this links: Mladina on an art performance of burning cross (with coauthor Dean Verzel), RTV SLO, Visoka šola za umetnost, Revija Fotografija.

Before I’ve called him to ask him for a portrait, a colleague warned me that once he already declined a portraiture, since he hates to be photographed. One of his statement is even more specific: “I don’t like photographers“. I called him anyway. He said, yes, of course I’m always up for a good artistic portrait, although I hate being in front of a camera. Then I said, like I would know what I’m doing, “if you could have closed eyes, will that make you more comfortable?”. So we agreed. I mentioned that in the past I’ve made portraits on a graveyard, at a morgue, but he said, no, no, nothing morbid.

So I decided to build a picture on color red, since that’s the color that dominates on all of his contemporary works. I wanted to recreate in my own way a tension in calmness that I see in his photographs of corpses in a morgue, of dead infants, corpses during cremation,… My first concept was to make a picture of him being illuminated by a red light (SB900 with a softbox) and in the back pedestrians crossing the street. As you can see we were trying hard, but I wasn’t satisfied with the composition. Pedestrians were randomly scattering behind and in spite of many tries I wasn’t comfortable with the whole feel of the image. It was too open. I couldn’t fill the frame with lines of the crossing, pedestrians were so, so…

When I got home and I was looking at images I noted one that I really like! It was a test shot of a Goran with passing traffic. Traffic closed the lines on the left and buss fill up the frame. This is a close, claustrophobic shot properly interpreting my feelings for his work. I love calmness of his expression and tension of the traffic. I’m not so sure about the wheel of a bus above his head, but it’s so centered that viewers will think “Uau, the wheel is so centered that it must be an artist’s intention from the start”. On the end of the day the wheel does add a tension to the picture and that’s perfect unplanned detail that goes along with the concept. I’m attaching a lightbox for you to see also other frames. I’m publishing also an awesome picture that I’ve made while testing an equipment. I might make an exhibition of this kind of unintentional off shots.

This morning I thought on a subconscious motif of the picture and why I’ve chosen the portrait with traffic instead of one with pedestrians. Few weeks ago my dearest friend was hit by a car and he had an internal bleeding in his head. He was in coma for 20 min, close to death, but he recovered and he’s alright now. I never thought on that while preparing or during a shot of Goran’s portrait. In the morning I looked at the picture again and it was too obvious. Strange how our subconsciousness work…

Screen shot 2011-02-16 at 7.55.08 AM



8 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by borutpeterlin, had. had said: RT @borutpeterlin: Goran Bertok, new creative portrait […]

  2. Lepa! Kolo nad njegovo glavo me spominja na objektiv 😀 Drgač pa gotta love those mini aurora softboxes…

    Tomaž Zajelšnik

    16 February, 2011 at 11:39

  3. Izgleda, kot da je posneta v studiu.


    16 February, 2011 at 13:43

  4. At first, I thought that bus wheel was a lens installed on top of his head and I assumed he is a photographer without reading a text about it first. Hahahaha… So leopardish from me.
    By the way great photo Borut!!! Like the concept.

    Igor Motl

    18 February, 2011 at 12:34

  5. Dober portret Borut. Najprej me je kolo nad glavo zmotilo…ampak doda še nekaj … Se dejasko počutim nelagodno ob ogledu te fotke…kar je super… keep on!


    1 March, 2011 at 16:24

  6. Ja, kolo irritira, je zopren detajl 🙂
    Naključje pač na ključ je.

    Borut Peterlin

    2 March, 2011 at 08:32

  7. Hello, its nice paragraph on the topic of media print, we all know media
    is a enormous source of facts.

  8. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. That is
    a really neatly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and
    come back to read more of your useful info. Thank
    you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

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