Monday, 9 February 2009

Peter Gasser: African Tribes

Photo ©Peter Gasser-All Rights Reserved

Every now and then, I'm confronted with photographic work of such superlative quality that my jaw literally drops. Peter Gasser's photography is such work.

Peter Gasser is a Swiss photographer, and his biography as penned by Professor Helmut Gernsheim on his website reveals his affinity for precision work. While Professor Gernsheim commends Gasser's landscape work, comparing it to that of Ansel Adams, Brett Weston and Paul Caponigro, it is his ethno-photography that left me speechless.

Peter Gasser has exhibited his work in European and United States galleries, and is the recipient of a number of awards including the official recognition from the Swiss Confederation. His photographs are at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Art institute of Chicago, International Museum of Photography, Rochester; Center for Creative Photography, Arizona and others.

While all of his galleries are collectors' items, it's his images of the African Tribes that I liked the most...even more than his work from Ladakh. The black & white portraits of the Karo and Hamer tribes people of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, of the Himba of Namibia and of the Samburu of Kenya leap out of the pages...as if lifelike.

No question about it in my mind...this is jaw-dropping work.

My thanks to Alia Refaat, a freelance photographer from Egypt, for directing me to Peter Gasser's website.