Daniel Sambraus is a photographer whose work is focused around the architecture of cities. His latest work which is featured in the ‘London Lockdown’ exhibition solely focuses around the buildings and landmarks of the city of London.
With the virtual ‘London Lockdown’ exhibition approaching, we decided to shed an artist spotlight on him by interviewing Daniel Sambraus to allow our readers and buyers to learn more about the artist and the creative process and inspiration behind his work.
What is the story/theme/inspiration/idea behind your work/collection?
I have been photographing architecture and urban landscape for many years. It is always a struggle to make a building or an architectural concept stand out from the cacophony of the city. In fact, urban landscape only works as a combination of many elements that are in constant dialogue with each other.
Having one architectural element completely removed from this dialogue will change it’s meaning and also it’s impact on the viewer.
In fact, I sometimes wonder, if this is the way architects dream of their work to appear to the viewer.
What influences your work? E.g. Artists/Movements/certain works/historic time
Since my teenage years, I have been listening to minimal music, particularly the composers Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Adams.
The “less is more” approach and the concentrating of only a few musical elements at a time and their subtle variations resonate very strongly in me. To an extent, my working with reduced elements and with repetition is a visual expression of this music.
What is your favourite type/genre of art and why?
I am a big fan of drawings – partly, because I have zero talent and am utterly unable to produce any half decent drawing – and partly because I find that the preliminary sketches of a painter are often better than the final painting.
What does art mean to you and did it influence you to make art a professional vocation?
This is a difficult question, because my answer might undermine my own artistic endeavour.
I am a huge fan of music and I believe that music is the art form that can best reach the heart and the soul of humans – at least mine; much better than visual arts.
Unfortunately, I am not talented enough to become a musician. I did find out in my teenage years, however, that, for whichever reason, I have talent for photography that is worth pursuing. And we all have to find out what talents aregiven to us and use them to their maximum potential.
How has your work grown since you started out as an artist?
I am technically much better now than when I started off. In itself, this fact is quite satisfying to a nerd like me. But it also means that it is easier for me now to realise an idea in my head and to turn it into into a finished picture.
What do you feel makes your style of work unique?
I always strive to achieve a technically perfect finished piece of work. The viewer should not be able to see where and how an image has been manipulated, copied or mirrored. The image should always appear as a perfect piece of architecture and give the viewer the feeling that it could actually exist in reality exactly as it is shown in the picture.
What type of art do you dislike and why?
I struggle with the photographer Martin Parr. I admire his technical brilliance and his sharp look at things. But I am not sure I can deal with his ice-cold look at humanity.
Has anyone famous ever bought your work?
The Museo Humex in Mexico City has an 80cm x 120cm print of a photo me. I collaborated with the Mexican artist Santiago Borja, who had an installation in the Sigmund Freud House in London.
What can we expect to see in the future?
I am currently working on architectural photos of façades of generic buildings. I mainly photographed in the modernist dream/hell (depends on your viewpoint) of Croydon in the autumn and winter. Now, I am using lockdown to edit the many hundreds of pictures and I am working on the computer on the first final images.
The idea is to create a more minimal and conceptual architectural image than in my current show.
What quote/word sums up your art work?
Always have a camera on you. You don’t know what you might see today that’s worth photographing.
Tell us about your creative process; how do your works come into creation? Where do you begin? Do you envisage the final outcome from the start or is the process more of a journey?
I walk through cities a lot. And I always have a camera on me. So if I see something interesting, I can always take a picture. Sometimes this picture is the basis for the final image. But often, some element is not right, the light, the time of day, the angle. And then I return, sometimes several times, often with tripod for long exposures.
The final image is created in Adobe Photoshop, mainly with the help of many cups of strong tea with milk – no sugar.
We hope that even though this exhibition cannot be seen in person due to current world affairs that everyone is still able to view and enjoy Daniel’s pieces virtually.
If interested in any of his work or if you simply have any questions or enquiries, then please feel free to contact us by email or phone. We are working from home so will be happy to assist with any needs.