Photolucida: Max Kellenberger: Carry
Max Kellenberger is a self-trained artist, working with a variety of techniques and processes, most recently photogravure and cyanotype. In 2012, he published the photogravure portfolio Feld und Flur (Field and Meadow), a cased edition of 10 prints inspired by German Romanticism.
Born in a small town in Central Switzerland, Max’s work has been shown and published internationally including the exhibit of the Polaroid Collection in the Nikon Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland and a solo exhibition at the Galerie Kunsthäuschen in Herrliberg, Switzerland. He was a recipient of the 20×24 Camera Grant from Polaroid and the winner of the Golden Light Award from the Maine Photographic Workshop as well as a Professional Photographers Award from Santa Fe Workshops. His photographs are in numerous private collections, including Graham Nash, Joaquim Paiva and major collections such as the Polaroid Collection.
Max showed great interest in photography at an early age, beginning with developing his film in his mother’s closet. Upon receiving an East German SLR camera for his 13th birthday, Max’s passion for photography was cemented. After graduation from High School, he took a position at an advertising agency all the while continuing to photograph for the newspaper. In 1980, he opened his studio specializing in advertising and fashion. After moving to San Francisco in 1992, fine art photography became his main focus.
Recent photography exhibitions include A One Man Show at Gallery 16 in San Francisco, Cyanotypes at Photo LA, Blues at Smith Anderson North in San Rafael, Quietude at Corden|Potts in San Francisco and One: Unique Photographs at Klompching in Brooklyn NY.
A few years ago, I had to undergo an invasive medical intervention. While my body recovered well, my emotional life was in pieces. There was a feeling deep inside, a heavy mass, which pulled me down and kept me from moving freely. With the help of a psychoanalyst, I started to explore what I had been carrying all along these years.
Exploring the nature of this heaviness made me curious about other people. On the way to and from the therapist’s office in downtown San Francisco, I started to focus my camera on strangers. Looking at the very area of people’s bodies where I experience my heaviness I realized that humans seem to almost always carry something in their hands, over their shoulders or in their arms.
Carrying objects reveals having purpose. We have places to go and things to deliver. We have hope. We hold on tight to what we carry because we also fear that anything can be lost. Carrying is an expression of human impermanence and, at the same time, an action that makes this very condition tolerable.
Carry is work in progress resulting both in new insight and new images.
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