A Salute to the Masters: Unconscious Roads (A Tribute to Thomas Struth)

1

In the mid-1970s, German artist Thomas Struth took a series of photos of the deserted streets Dusseldorf, using a 35mm SLR camera, without any digital manipulation. Here's my tribute to this great photographer who belong to the school of the New-Topographics.

This article is another tribute to a master of the New-Topographics school, an artistic movement dedicated to the man-altered territory. In the mid-1970s, German artist Thomas Struth took a series of photos of the deserted streets Dusseldorf, using a 35mm SLR camera, without any digital manipulation. All these photos are characterized by a strong central perspective, and the photographs are neither staged nor manipulated in post-production. He also avoided the strong contrast of light and shadows.

Credits: sirio174

His idea was influenced by the sculptures of George Segal and Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings of imaginary urban spaces. In the following years, he used a similar approach to photograph the empty streets of other cities around the world, such as Rome, Naples, London, New York, and Tokyo.

Credits: sirio174

His works are featured in the book “Thomas Struth: Unconscious Places” which contains more than 200 photographs of 53 locations in 16 countries.

Credits: sirio174

“The first impressions helps me to realize how deeply the architecture and urbanism represent what the people is and what the people wants: its capabilities, its limitations and its failures. The road, with its buildings, and with the gaps created where once were (or could have been) other buildings, is imprinted in the minds and in the hearts of its inhabitants, and has an effect that lasts for a long time.”
- Common Ground, ed. Marsilio, 2012.

Credits: sirio174

To make a tribute to Struth I took a series of photos of empty streets of my city (Como), waiting patiently for some moments without traffic or without people around. I used my trusty Praktica MTL5 camera with a 28mm lens, loaded with Kodak Tri-X 400. Following the master, I chose a central perspective in every road and to avoid high contrast or shadows. I took these photos on a cloudy day in January. I avoided photos of monumental and artistic places, concentrating on some common streets which are seldom explored by photographers and tourists.

Credits: sirio174

He opened my eyes and my mind to discover the urban nonsense of the modern part of my city. You can visit the official website of this great artist to learn more about him and his work.

Salute to the Masters is a series dedicated to great photographers that I like. I posted other tributes for Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, Gabriele Basilico, Robert Adams, J.H. Lartigue, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Gianni Berengo Gardin and Izis. I especially love street photography and urban architectural photography.

written by sirio174 on 2014-02-10 in #lifestyle #desert-roads #35mm-camera #como #italy #slr #unconscious-places #roads #urban-landscape #new-ttopographics #thomas-struth #a-salute-to-the-masters #regular-contributors

One Comment

  1. avola
    avola ·

    Thomas Struth is a great artist, thank you for bringing him here and your pictures and your article are remarkable!

More Interesting Articles

  • A Salute to the Masters: Unstuck Posters (A Tribute to Aaron Siskind)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-12-13 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Unstuck Posters (A Tribute to Aaron Siskind)

    After writing a series of articles dedicated to arguably some of the greatest street photographers, this time I wrote one dedicated to the American abstract expressionist artist Aaron Siskind - a master of immortalizing details of nature, body parts and architecture, as well as walls and objects found in the streets - and his series of photographs of unstuck posters.

    1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Como by Bike (A Tribute to Mario De Biasi)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-04-04 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Como by Bike (A Tribute to Mario De Biasi)

    This article is a tribute to the Italian photojournalist Mario de Biasi and his wonderful book "Five Continents by Bike," a pretty series of street photographs showing people riding bicycles from all five continents. He is considered one of the masters of 20th century Italian photojournalism.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-04-18 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    This article is a tribute to the street and humanist photographer Sabine Weiss. Considered a living legend in street photography, she likes to photograph daily lives of people, trying to capture the emotions she recognizes around her. Weiss like to photograph people of all ages but she especially loves to take photos of children, masterfully immortalizing their spontaneous gestures and emotions. For this article, I was inspired by one of her rare sports photos of some children practicing judo. Do you want to know more about this great artist? Well, read on!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Football (A Tribute to Lothar Rübelt)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-10-11 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Football (A Tribute to Lothar Rübelt)

    This is a tribute to a great Austrian sports photographer, Lothar Rübelt. In an era with no high speed films available, he was able to immortalize wonderful moments in sports - from diving to gymnastics and football. In creating this tribute, I took a series of photos of an amateur football match using expired black and white film developed using an uncommon chemical. Take a look after the jump!

  • A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-02 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    This is tribute to the Farm Security Administration photographer, Jack Delano, and his photographic series dedicated to barkers. For this article, I chose a series of photos I took this year at the traditional Easter Fair in my city, Como, using a classic rangefinder camera loaded with a roll of black and white film.

    2
  • A Salute to the Masters: Rugby (A Tribute to Robert Doisneau)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-06-06 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Rugby (A Tribute to Robert Doisneau)

    This is a tribute to one of the most famous French social and street photographers, Robert Doisneau. During his life he was able to capture many little moments of everyday Parisian life with humanity and grace. His photos, full of poetry and humor, tell the ordinary life in the suburbs of the big French capital, away from the richest central areas of the city. Read more after the jump!

    1
  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • A Salute to the Masters: Ducks (A Tribute to Henri Cartier-Bresson)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-11-01 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Ducks (A Tribute to Henri Cartier-Bresson)

    This article is dedicated to arguably one of the most famous street photographers in the world, Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). On this occasion, I felt obliged to write a tribute to this great artist whom I consider the "Mozart of Photography." His photos are inimitable, and to try to reproduce his innate sense of composition, harmony, and choice of the right moment is but an illusion. So I chose an unusual way to pay tribute, the only way possible for me. Take a look!

    2
  • A Salute to the Masters: The Mediterranean Sea (A Tribute to Édouard Boubat)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-16 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Mediterranean Sea (A Tribute to Édouard Boubat)

    This article is a tribute to an important street photographer, Edouard Boubat. His pictures are characterized by great poetic touch, strong social sensitivity, and utmost respect for people and places. Inspired by a book which contains Boubat's photos taken in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, I pay homage by showcasing some of my photos taken within the same geographic area.

    1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Un Paese, August 2014 (A Tribute to Paul Strand)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-09-13 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Un Paese, August 2014 (A Tribute to Paul Strand)

    This is a tribute to a founding father of photography, the American photographer Paul Strand. In 1955, he released ​a book about Luzzara, a small town in central Italy, in collaboration with the famous neo-realist screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. To pay homage to this great artist, this summer I personally went to Luzzara to take a series of photos that shows the changes in this little town 60 years after the work of Strand was published.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • A Salute to the Masters: R.I.P. (A Tribute to George Krause)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-06-20 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: R.I.P. (A Tribute to George Krause)

    This article is dedicated to the multifaceted American photographer George Krause and to his series depicting funeral monuments realized between 1962 and 1963. I was able to know about this series thanks to an important essay on photography written by former Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Director of Photography, John Szarkowski. For this tribute, I loaded my trusty Praktica camera with a roll of Ilford film and took a series of photos in the Monumental Cemetery in my city, Como. Take a look!

    2
  • A Salute to the Masters: D-Day in Como? (A Tribute to Robert Capa)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-07-04 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: D-Day in Como? (A Tribute to Robert Capa)

    This article is dedicated to one of the most important masters of photography, Robert Capa. Capa is well known for his photos of war, from the famous image of the Republican Spanish soldier collapsing backwards after being fatally shot to his images taken in Indochina. He was also a co-founder of the famous Magnum Photo Agency, the first cooperative agency for freelance photographers worldwide. For this article, I took advantage of a rare event held in my city, Como, some weeks ago: a military drill for civil protection purposes.

  • 'Stilpirat' Steffen Böttcher Lures the Lomography Petzval Lens to France

    written by zonderbar on 2014-10-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    'Stilpirat' Steffen Böttcher Lures the Lomography Petzval Lens to France

    Steffen Böttcher's blog is already home to some very beautiful portraits taken with the New Petzval Lens. But the Petzval does so much more than just taking beautiful portraits; Böttcher recently took the lens with him on a mobile home adventure across the South of France. Find out more about the German photographer and his road trip in this exclusive interview.