Anders Petersen was born in 1944 in Sweden. Despite his insistence that he’s just an “amateur”, he is definitely the most world famous amateur ever! His images of lovers, transvestite prostitutes, and drug addicts, in the 60s put him on the map. Maybe that false moniker is the result of using only cameras that fit in his pocket. He finds SLRs and bigger cameras too imposing to his subjects. The smaller the camera, the more intimate the photograph. A creed that’s proved very successful for him.
Anders Petersen – No Amateur
Anders Petersen photographs those he most identifies with. He’s still like a teenager in his photographic exuberance, yet at the same time displaying a guru like persona. No one can say he’s not an artist whose “paid his dues”. He feels only a photograph valid going beyond the surface. To Anders Petersen intimacy and honesty in images is king.
Anders Petersen believes, and rightly so, that without the subject knowing him, both the good and the bad, he cannot know them. It’s more than just respect,…it’s honesty about who you are. He has always felt on a level playing field with the druggies, prostitutes and street thugs.
A Real Artist
Anders Petersen’s first project, “Café Lehmitz”, was only the start of 45 years of photography. His commitment to his art has been unwavering. Never putting on “artistic airs”. Through the worst of times. He actually shared the life of many of his subjects, making the images beyond just a “picture”. They are simpatico,…and his exhibits are raw and honest.
Anders Petersen has published over thirty books. They have details of little slices of life in London, Rome, Hamburg, Venice, and Stockholm. A seedy underbelly of some of the worlds most beautiful cities exposed. Stripping back the travel brochure veneer. He uses lighting to create mood. While most visiting these cities would head straight for the landmarks, Anders Petersen would more likely head for the back alleys, prisons, mental hospitals, old people’s homes.A reality not promoted by the Chambers of Commerce. Anders Petersen depicts a raw reality.
The Secret – Love of the ‘Nobody’
However, he says he likes people, which is why he began his photographic career. He likes meeting people, building relationships,…and had a good excuse to meet people. His unending curiosity is truly sincere with all, irrelevant of status. He regards it as a privilege,…not a job.
Anders Petersen says it’s his feelings that sets him apart. A true Professional Amateur? Find Contax T3