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German photographer, Jan Prengel, approaches urban landscapes with an eye for minimalist abstraction. We sat down with him to learn more about his process and the how he came to be a photographer.
Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist…
I've always liked to be creative and to create something new, that contains something of my personality and makes it visible to other people. I came to photography in 2010 during a trip to Paris. Inspired by the life and unique atmosphere of this city, I started taking my first photos in the streets of Paris and was instantly addicted.
What is your creative process?
In the beginning there is the inspiration. I write down the ideas and thoughts to get them out of my head. If an idea is still in my head after one week, I know that it is potential content for a new project. This is followed by the concrete planning phase in which concept, design elements, light, place and time are defined. Afterwards photograph, select, edit and print.
Jan Prengel says
“I try to create a composition where your eyes come to rest, a composition which 'feels' right.”
Describe your work in three words...
Silence. Colors. Composition.
Your photographs sometimes include a figure. Why do you choose to do incorporate a person within the architectural landscape?
Incorporating a person, brings the architectural landscape to life. If I decide to do this, I am not interested in the person as an individual but in the relation of the human to the environment.
Who are some contemporaries or figures in art history who have influenced you?
Andreas Gursky, Josef Hoflehner, Christoph Niemann
What makes you nervous?
If my iPhone's battery is below 20%.
What makes you excited about the future?
How technical progress will change the world and society.
Jan Prengel is a photographer based in Stuttgart, Germany. The main subjects of his work are modern architecture and urban spaces, as well as the passing figures who bring these spaces to life. Prengel utilizes a minimalist style to convey the silent beauty of stark architectural surroundings. He studied photography at the Lazi Akademie in Esslingen, Germany and has exhibited work in Germany and the US.
b. 1992, Ulm, Germany Lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany
“With squinting eyes I walk through the streets of this beautiful city while the evening sun shines in my face and bathes the buildings and places in a warm light. I absorb the many new visual impressions, smells and sounds of this city. Suddenly my eyes stop, two steps further and there it is, the perfect composition, everything is in the right place, the individual elements fit together harmoniously and appear in front of me like a painting…
Inspired by modern architecture, abstract art and the urban life of european cities, I try to create perfect compositions where your eyes come to rest, compositions which 'feel' right. Sensitive to my surroundings, I capture the moments and images that life offers me, which are so often full of beauty but unperceived.
With my photography I want to give them the deserved importance and attention.” - Jan Prengel
2012 - 2015 Photography, Lazi Akademie, Germany
2017, '2017 Holiday Exhibition', Root Studios, New York 2015, 'KFDA', Lazi Akademie, Esslingen, Germany 2014, 'Impuls', Das Dick, Esslingen, Germany
Continually investigating the the flattening of three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional surface, Kramer's MalaNazar series engages this exploration while drawing on our dissolution with nature through staged, perceived images.