Inside this issue
Brian is always wondering what’s around the next corner, if there's a compelling scene to photograph, then realizing there’s usually just another corner on a very long road. But experience has shown him that persistence is rewarded, and the journey in itself is a gift.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Brian Kosoff has described his default setting as being beauty, but in contrast to the many landscape photographers who go to great lengths to exclude obvious signs of man from their images, Brian embraces these and imbues them with an elegance that defies their often humble origin. Best known for his film-based black and white landscapes, he likes the way that monochrome strips an image down to its basic elements of light, composition and form. In contrast, his colour work is digital, and explores themes of motion and, in “Warning Signs” and “End of the Road”, our own mortality.
Would you like to tell readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, what your early interests were and how you became interested in photography?
I was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn New York near Brighton Beach and Coney Island. It was a great place for a kid to grow up, and its close proximity to the beach and the Atlantic Ocean was one of the few places where one could see an actual horizon in NYC. I attribute my appreciation of open spaces, vast horizons and possibly why I favour wide panoramic formats to having grown up in the visually congested environment of NYC.
My uncle, who was a hobbyist photographer, sparked my interest in photography. He shot mostly slide film with a Nikkormat and every time there was a family function at his home he would put on a slideshow of all the family and vacation photos he had taken. At about age 15 I bought my first camera and pretty quickly became obsessed with photography. I converted my bedroom into a room in which I could block out all the light and make a darkroom. It didn’t have running water so I had to wash prints in a tray in the tub in the bathroom. I discovered that the worse the weather the more interesting the photographs, so I would venture out on the stormiest of days to shoot photos, come home and process film and then spend the night in my darkroom printing.
How crucial to your future direction was the art program at high school? Many of us were directed away from art at school, so this sounds like a wonderful thing.