In her photographs, artist Katrin Korfmann captures momentary movements in everyday routines and offers intimate insights into urban life. In our interview, the artist talks about her work and new exhibitions in Berlin and LA
When it comes to city life, Katrin Korfmann has a different perspective. Literally. Rush hour, hectic urbanites, a packed beach – situations that tend to be uninspiring, if not unpleasant, when you find yourself caught up right in the middle. Viewed from above, however, these become a monochrome backdrop and canvas for frozen moments. Despite her obvious distance to it all, Korfmann treats urban life as a stage and throws a surprisingly intimate glance at everyday situations and their individual protagonists caught up in the composition. Coupled with the red thread of movement, her trademark bird’s eye view turns the artist’s large-format works from abstract, almost painted depictions when viewed from afar into self-contained realms teeming with intriguing details once we step closer. Right now, some of her works are on display in Berlin at the Kai Hilgemann gallery as part of the European Month of Photography as well as LA‘s Kopeikin Gallery with a solo show by the artist.
Born in Berlin (*1971), Katrin Korfmann has been living in Amsterdam for the last fifteen years. During conversation on the phone, she mentions that the local art scene is relatively small, but that she appreciates the city for its open and modern approach to art and life and its international feel.
When she is not on the road for one of her projects, Korfmann spends time in her Amsterdam studio while the kids are at school. After all, the bulk of her work takes place on the computer, editing images recorded with her Canon 5D and taking her from the narrow definition of photography (a subject she studied) into the broader realm of art. “Photography touches on all genres (e.g. fashion, journalism and art). Within art, however, it all starts with the concept and then you pick and choose your medium.“ Conceptual frameworks remain an important part of Korfmann‘s work and she also passes on her expertise at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague where she teaches a course on Visual Concepts.
All of Katrin‘s works carry a time stamp depicting the length and duration of photography. Afterwards, she assembles the segments in the studio, layering several moments of a particular timeframe until they make up a single image. Madrid, for example, the result of a chance glance out of a hotel window, might resemble a basic black/white photo due to its intriguing composition. “In Madrid, all of the taxis are white and there was an incredibly amount of traffic on the crossing. So I had plenty of material to work with.“
Anyone catching sight of her work will inevitably question the creative process behind it. Although she does spend some time on cranes or in helicopters, some of her pictures are the result of chance, e.g. taken from high-rise windows like Madrid. In other cases, she might spend month meticulously researching and planning a particular production. Take her latest series, for example, captured at India’s annual festival of colours in Barsana, the birthplace of Krishna and a good 300 km south of Delhi. According to the artist herself, this trip – and its resulting images – count among her most impressive experiences to date.
Those wishing to explore her (chosen) home Amsterdam should check out Korfmann’s recommendations – “the new islands and the film museum“.
Katrin Korfmann Kolorit
Galerie Kai Hilgemann
22 November - 22 December 2012
3 November – 22 December 2012
More information on the artist: www.katrinkorfmann.com