Born in 1930, David Goldblatt is perhaps South Africa’s best known and most highly regarded photographer of his generation. Find out a little bit more about him here.
David Goldblatt’s photos revolve around his exploration of the social landscape of South Africa. Growing up in a country which in the 40s and 50s was at the peak of racism and anti-semitism, Goldblatt carefully observed the social, cultural and economic divides that characterised the South African state.
The son of Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants, he himself, frequently experienced anti-Semitic sentiments and this in turn made him especially sensitive to the humiliation and discrimination suffered by others under apartheid.
Goldblatt’s photos focus on ordinary people and everyday life. His work is a series of quiet observations rather than loud political statements. He shed light on injustice not through the documentation of large scale happenings but rather through the character of the people living a struggle. Having very little interest in explosions of hostility, Goldblatt’s Transported of KwaNdebele series for example, followed the daily commute of black workers during segregation His first publication, On the Mines, examined the subterranean lives of gold miners in the East Rand area of the country.
Now over 80 years old, Goldblatt is a recipient of the Hasselblad Foundation Award in photography and has more than 20 solo exhibitions under his belt, including ones at the MOMA and the V&A; the latter having received a large collection of his work as a donation in 1987.