It’s very rare that Napier based photographer Herman van Bon exhibits ‘outdoors’; partly because (South African) galleries demand a commission of up to 70% of the sales (most ask 40 to 50%) and partly because the photographer wants to keep his business in his own hands. But there are exceptions like 3 Photo’s projected on Times Square in New York in 2015 or being part of a group exhibition in a Los Angeles Art Center a few years later. Nowadays his North- and Middle American interests are organised via a few agents and the printing is done on location.
Most impact had the UNESCO exhibition ‘The Invisible visible’ in Oslo (2016/17) where he was selected with 127 other photographers from around the globe by a previous PRADO (Madrid) photography curator. The review was a nice surprise form him:
“To call him a landscape photographer is akin to describing Table Mountain as a large flat rock. To label him as a graphic artist also leaves much to be desired. A photo-graphic artist? Unwieldy and lacklustre.
The fact of the matter is that Herman van Bon as a photographer and as an artist is not easily pigeon-holed. Words fall short when describing his work and how he achieves it. In this case, his pictures are more than the sum of their parts.
Although a good photographer’s landscapes are far from flat, the observer does, in most cases, get what he or she sees: a representation of a country or marine scene.
So far, so good.
For Herman, however, the capturing of a landscape is just the beginning. It is his playground. He starts to experiment and explore and play, using different kinds of photo-processing and –developing software and techniques, and, organically, his pictures begin to grow.
Layer by layer, the original shot metamorphosises into something extraordinary. Textures, tones, figures, symbols, quirky composites, and what appear figments of the imagination to the eye are included.
This process can take weeks.
The result is a contemporary, deeply personal interpretation, a fascinating fantasia of different forms, as far away from just a landscape full of special effects as you and I could imagine. “
4 And 5 November there is another exception. This time nearby; at Marina Blight’s ‘GRACE’ in Bredasdorp. Marina is an artist (painting) who opens her house once a month for two days to show her own work and that of a guest artist.
At Grace Herman will display 6 of his latest Photo-Graphics. a Photo-Graphic is basically a photo or photo-collage with added textures and digital in-painting/drawing. They are all printed on high quality canvas in sizes A1 and A0. See for yourself (a few examples):
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