“Portraits taken at the turn and at the beginning of the 20th century are highly sophisticated and this is something we are lacking in our current times. In my pictures I try to restore these old times but not by bringing back the past. In my portraits I extend the present and place the portrayed person into a timeless nest by building a new time system.”
With the constant presence of social media and smart phones, there is no day that goes by without viewing someone’s pictures. Somehow everyone has become a photographer that certainly has its pros and cons. It makes it even harder for professional photographers to stick out of the crowd and make people go ‘wow‘. Fortunately such artists still exist. One of them is Tamas Dobos and his artworks make me totally speechless. They are truly pieces of art. They are so different from what I have seen so far. And they are so quiet. But his photographs tell stories. Very interesting ones. One can hear the silence of the studio or the shooting location as well as one feels the intimate moment between the photographer and his muse. The setting and clothing of the portrait subjects represent days gone by that are even more emphasized in black & white and by the usage of glass negatives.
Artworks by Tamas are timeless and make the viewer ponder, if the portrayed persons are still among us or might these be ancient photos? But somehow it is obvious that these photos are recent ones and not from the 19th century. The photographer creates the perfect illusion and masters the mélange between today and yesterday, now and the past, young and old, content and contemplative. The secret lays in the unique, traditional, analogue technique he applies. “I accept digital photography, but it lacks the film roll that you can touch. This might be an old-school philosophy though. I do have a digital camera, I could not afford not to have one, but it is all about megabytes, and a photo will be appreciated for things that are intangible. When I shoot pictures with a digital camera, there is always something missing.”
Tamas Dobos, the successful Hungarian photo artist currently living in Cologne, Germany, is completing his PhD degree in Cinematography & Photography at the Köln International School of Design. In Hungary he graduated from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Faculty of Photography. For a while Tamas was active in the field of fashion photography and worked for clients such as The Room, Elle, Marie Claire, MTV – just to mention a couple. On his personal journey to perfect his unique style, Tamas decided to leave fashion photography and concentrated on developing an inimitable, unrivaled visual world, where he is free to experiment and pursue his own path. Tamas’ other passion is cinematography, that he is a master of, too. He usually acts as Director of Photography and occasionally also as a co-writer. One of the latest films he worked on is Soft Rain (Lágy eső), a short film that was selected to show at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013.
In Hungary, the photo artist is exclusively represented by NextArt Gallery. His artworks have been exhibited besides Hungarian galleries and exhibitions, also in London, Paris, Brussels, Saarbrücken and in many other cities across the globe. When asked about his dreams, Tamas did not hesitate to mention that he would very much enjoy to have a photo session with e.g. Tilda Swinton or David Bowie. Also, in terms of his future endeavors the artist plans to find a manager, to take his art mission to the next level as well as to be represented by galleries in foreign countries, so that his artworks could be available to art lovers at far away locations, too.
In my eyes, the purity of Tamas Dobos’ photography perfectly embodies human fragility, honesty, personal destiny and for some reason his artworks constantly suggest the question ‘what’s next?’. While the artworks are very mesmerizing, they also have a down-to-earth character. Another reason why I became obsessed with the artist’s works is that I never had the feeling that an image was shot to make money, but it was taken for the sake of capturing a very special moment – a unique second when the photographer and his muse are in perfect harmony.
I have already spent countless hours on Tamas Dobos’ website, and I kindly invite you to visit his portfolio, too.
Quotations from Sandor Bacskai’s interview with Tamas Dobos in Fotóművészet.
Source of images: Tamas Dobos’ courtesy.