The Photography of Jacob Fellander.
The Swedish photographer is taking pictures the old-fashioned way, with a vintage camera.
It can take him a month to complete a photograph. We met with Jacob Felländer at New York's Chelsea Hotel (he was staying in Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe's old room).
When Swedish photographer Jacob Felländer recently visited New York, Nordstjernan took the opportunity to meet up with him. Felländer’s work, taken with a vintage camera, are the products of his “gut feeling.”
“I try not to steer it too much,” Felländer says. “I try not to get in the way.”
His photos, mostly of cities and landscapes, are in constant motion, and although you can clearly see what they illustrate, their repetitiveness and sense of pattern suggests something theoretical, even abstract, like cards being shuffled quickly, their images blurring.
“What I do is use a mix of the most common mistakes people make with a camera and I create something magic with it. I’d say I take the three most common mistakes, and I put them on top of each other to create interesting effects.”
For instance, when he’s taking photos of buildings he does so while rotating the camera. This is a technique Felländer developed 10 years ago, and one which he continues to be amazed by.
“I always think I’m going to get tired of it or want to move on,” he explains, “but then I get some new idea. I always find new dimensions, and I keep developing the technique.”
The latest idea is to go on a trip around the world with the camera and get it all into one picture—a project he refers to as “One World. One Negative.” He says the idea is to have the cities flow chronologically into each other. This exhibition will open May 5 at Fotografiska in Stockholm. Felländer has chosen to explore cities like Los Angeles, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai, Istanbul and New York. New York remains a favorite object.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve been attracted to the U.S.,” he explains. “And New York in particular. It’s like living in the eye of the storm. What is it that makes us build these cities, like New York and Shanghai, where people live crowded and on top of each other? Why is it so important for people to live just here?”
It wasn’t a given that Felländer was going to become a photographer, although he was always interested in art and design. In fact it wasn’t until he went to college that he got interested in exploring the possibilities of a camera ... before that he almost became a golf pro, and today he is also an able musician.
“I get inspiration from interesting places,” Felländer says. “See that fire escape there? That would work in a photo. However not the marquee next to it. Can I explain that? No. It’s just something I feel.”
Felländer has had several exhibitions in Sweden, including at the prestigious Galerie Aronowitsch, Fotografiska, Raoul Wallenberg Torg and a group exhibit in connection with the Nobel Prize Ceremony in December 2010. You can have a look at his photographs at the Maidstone in East Hampton, NY until May 5, 2012, and at the upcoming “One World. One Negative” at Fotografiska in Stockholm.
Jacob Felländer donates 10 percent of his proceeds to Unicef.
For more info, see: www.jacobfellander.com