By the 1960s the golden age of conceptual photography began. From Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup images that contained the text of commercial advertising to Ed Ruscha’s books containing a repetition of similarities of various architectural structures.
Today such works are not so much political statements, but personal statements. David Nitsche has been a photographer less than a decade, but during that time he has created images that illustrate his powerful conceptions of the world around him. In an interview I conducted with him last year for the book New Image Frontiers–Defining the Future of Photography, the conceptual photographer depicts how he came to know this genre of art.
” All my images are about me or those I love. I want the viewer to be able to tie into them easily enough, but not beat them over the head with thought. I want them to remember a time in their lives when they felt the same way I did. The names, places and circumstances may be different but the emotion is the same and if I work hard enough I should be able to elicit that emotion from them,” Nitsche said.
Personal statements aside, Nitsche creates some very powerful messages. While they don’t use text, they convey it in the astonished eye of the viewer. Some can peer at the image and say “That’s me. I’m a caffeine addict!”
How many times have you been to Starbucks and felt that you needed a “fix?” There is no better image than an hypodermic needled filled with the black liquid to remind you that coffee is the type of drink that you have to have.
Personal expression vs political thought do overlap; artists who create art that is a political statement are expressing their personal views, but those views are meant persuade others that their statement is worth thinking about. Nitche’s work is more personal, as you don’t think of other people when you’re looking at it. The focus, so it goes, is on yourself.by