Kool Skool Interview With Photographer Alexander Bartsch
"Brixton Will Be Televised"
The Kool Skool is a platform dedicated supporting the arts, and as promised we managed to track down Brixton based Photographer Alexander Bartsch.
His unique view is gaining a lot of creative acclaim, whether its catching the bashment of Notting Hill Carnival, citizen reporting the BNP's appearance on Question time, or documenting everyday South London Road dramas. Fresh from his recent exhibition we took a few moments to discuss his history and method as working London photographer.
How long have you been a photographer?
I have been taking photos since I had a camera in my hand. I first had access to a darkroom about 10 years ago at school. But it's only in the past year that I have been pushing it and taking it more seriously.
"Bike In Road"
Was it a gradual thing, or as it something you always knew you wanted to do?
It was a gradual thing, always has been. It was more something to fall back on as I dropped out of more challenging paths. Went through a few stages and influences along the way that changed the way I took flicks. The last and main one was to never go out of my flat without a camera.
Do you use digital or traditional film stock? Which do you prefer?
I use digital for fashion shoots and colour stuff but for my own work, which is usually black and white, I use mostly film. I have never been good friends with digital photos. Just like vinyl holds sound on a physical medium, film holds light on a negative. That's the beauty of it. You can't hold digital music or digital photography. I like my work to be material. Keeping it analog so far.
"Line & Dirt"
Do you feel Black and White images have a stronger impact?
No. I think both colour and black and white have their own use. I shoot colour differently than I would shoot black and white. Just like the colour in a photograph can be attractive to the eye, it can also distract you from the subject.
How do you describe your photography style. Do you adhere to a certain genre?
I don't adhere to any genre. My photographs are basically my vision of the city and my surroundings. I like to show how I see all things around me. Just like a writer I look around for spots to photograph, interesting situations or just patterns. In a way shooting in the city is kind of like my new bombing, I'm always on the look out. You can even get stopped by police for it!
"Bring Home The Troops"
A lot of your photos, have an element of humour in them, is that an important element in your art form?
A lot of the humour in my pictures was first inspired by an illustrator called Dran and especially from his book 'Fabrique en France'. He uses old boxes and draws something connected to the writing on the box in a gritty sinister style which I can relate to. I do find this side of my work fun and interesting cause you're bringing together 2 subjects and creating a whole new meaning to what's in front of you which gives another dimension to the photography.
"Red & Blue"
Have you been published, or exhibited anywhere?
I've enjoyed showing my work in free spaces. Most of the time I don't have the cash to front for gallery space and find it less hassle and usually less formal. My work was last shown as part of an event in a squatted pub in Bow. The setting was dope and the night turned into a rave till early morning. The next one should be an AUX collective show maybe at the end of the year.
Tizer One ID
My work has been published a bit. A lot of graffiti related magazines, websites and blogs seem to have been my first viewers. Shot the photos for Tizer's spread in Graphotism. But also Hamburger Eyes, a San Francisco based photography mag has been publishing my flix in their issues. I've always loved their work and highly recommend it.
Alexander Bartsch the blog
ALL IMAGES ARE THE EXCLUSIVE CREATIVE PROPERTY OF ALEXANDER BARTSCH USED BY PERMISSION