Photo books about the sea should be declared a genre of their own. Martin Parr’s „Life’s a Beach“, which reports on the absurdity of beach life. Philip Plisson’s „The Sea“, which reports encyclopaedically about the visual phenomena of the sea. Marco Pesaresi’s „Rimini“, which documents the morbid nature of a seaside holiday resort out of season. And now: Jörg Rubbert’s „Beach Lovers“.
Rubbert tells of the relationship between people and the sea. Rubbert is a street photographer in the wonderfully classic sense, only this time he wasn’t strolling along the streets of the cities of the world, but the beaches of the world. He succeeds in wonderfully rough, direct, sharply observed images, which in their immediate imperfection remind me again and again of Winogrand.
Anyone who knows Rubbert’s black and white street photographs, for example from his book “Paris – New York – Berlin. Street Photography 1978-2010 ”, will be happy to discover that Rubbert is a colour photography master as well. He works carefully with the color palette that beach life offers, from the rich blue tones of the sky and the sea, the sand-colored brown tones of the beach, the variety of color variations that the twilight offers to the often bright red accents that he sets.
And what is Rubbert telling us with his pictures: About the strollers on the boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1987, which from today’s perspective already radiate so much from the past that one thinks it should actually be 1957. Of dogs and children on the beach, with images that have the power to trigger acoustic associations in us, of children screaming, laughing, barking dogs, the sound of the sea. From hat wearers of all stripes: The red-capped lady who holds her hat with both hands on Miami Beach; the black-capped French who looks over his shoulder on the beach in Nice as if he were a mafiosi and would like to cast a suspicious look at the photographer.
Most important, however, are the special facial expressions and gestures that Rubbert photographs of his protagonist. The two older gentlemen of different sizes patting each other’s shoulders on the beach in Nazaré; the posing, exercising old beau in the tight red bathing trunks on the beach of Nice, who one would trust all kinds of love affairs even with his over 70s – and who has somehow almost become an icon of Rubbert’s photographic work.
Rubbert’s splendid photobook, which was published by the Berlin-based Palm Art Press-Verlag, brings together 148 color photographs from over 30 years and documents life on around 50 beaches around the world. The Berlin gallery for young artists + designers (Grunewaldstr. 15, 10823 Berlin, www.jkd-berlin.de) is showing a selection of the works until August 7, 2021.
Jörg Rubbert: BEACH LOVERS
148 color photographs
24,5 x 28,5 cm
German / English
#We love the seaside
galerie für junge künstler- + designerInnen berlin
Duration of the exhibition: 12.06. until 08/07/2021
Opening times: Thursday and Friday 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat., 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.