ABOUT THE WORK
The city that never sleeps? Horst & Daniel Zielske show that’s hardly the case, reinventing the Big Apple as a backdrop devoid of people that could be classified somewhere between nostalgia and futurism. In their brilliant series, the city on the Hudson shines in a new, almost unreal light.
The photo artists set out to take “the best pictures of New York”. And indeed, the dawn, the thick rain clouds, fog, and storms in the Zielske photos are breathtakingly beautiful. In twilight, the empty streets and bridges appear like film sets. Streetlamps, traffic lights, lighted billboards and spotlights on buildings create accents in the nearly monochrome compositions: red tones under an elevated subway on a street corner in the Bronx, ochre hues throughout Chelsea.
William Turner is considered one of the Romanticist forefathers of Impressionism. Horst & Daniel Zielske took it upon themselves to bring him into modern times using modern technology. The result is a thrilling homage to the British landscape painter.
As one of England’s most significant artists, Turner let behind an extensive body of work. He traveled a lot, always in search of new subjects. Starting in 2008, the Zielskes retraced his steps through eight countries including France, Italy, and Switzerland. They took photographs of all the locations that inspired Turner paintings over 150 years ago. The point of view and perspective are not always identical, but all of the pictures do clearly demonstrate a fascination for nature. In their view of the world, the painter and the photographers appear to be closely connected.
German Symphony and Coastline
The coast of Rügen, the largest island in Germany, appears completely lost in reverie. The boulders jut out of the fog in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. And the North Sea beach appears out of this world. Horst and Daniel Zielske know how to turn real-life subjects into very special art.
The German Symphony and Coastline series contain landscapes of a very special caliber. Between today and tomorrow, in the twilight at sunset, the father and son team find something mysterious for their photos. They are magical moments we would have missed if the Zielskes had not been there to capture them.
Shanghai was not always a megacity. The commercial metropolis dates back over fifteen hundred years, which is reflected in the architecture. Horst and Daniel Zielske took a much closer look at the City of the Future. What they discovered was an almost artificial space between fiction and reality.
Exaggerated dimensions dominate the cityscape. Bridges snake through the streets like fantasy backdrops, making the houses reminiscent of models. Kitsch and commerce force tradition and culture to the outskirts. There are only a few corners where the city’s old charm can still be seen. A thrilling portrait of the city that sparks a desire to visit the Chinese city of superlatives.
When the morning fog spreads out over London, you feel like you’re in one of the classics by Durbridge, Dickens, or Doyle. Horst and Daniel Zielske view the British metropolis as a city full of stories. A backdrop for gripping crime novels. The photographers present the city in a very special light at daybreak.
There appear to be thrilling secrets hidden behind the illuminated facades. “River Thames III” radiates a calm that seems full of tensions. On the other hand, the deserted “St Pauls Tobacco” appears almost romantic. Horst and Daniel Zielske succeed in portraying modern London between old traditions and absolute progress, between historical landmarks and spectacularly futuristic architecture.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
While some father-son relationships might feel more like a sporting competition, Horst and Daniel Zielske work together as photographers in perfect harmony. There’s no hierarchy, no testing of boundaries, no power struggle. Just mutual respect. They have been working together this way since 1993.
Horst Zielske was born in 1946 in Fehmarn, Germany was working as an architectural photographer when his son Daniel came into the world in Göttingen in 1972. Daniel was only a child when he began accompanying his father on assignments. He ended a photography apprenticeship in 1993 in order to work together with his father on a photo book for the first time. Since then, they have only worked as an established team. Over more than twenty years, the Zielskes have been the centre of much attention, largely due to their photo books about Shanghai, Berln, Qatar, and New York. They both live in Göttingen, Germany.
Together, we are one eye.
Father and Son Seeing Eye to Eye
Together, Horst and Daniel Zielske walk through the city they want to depict. As an established father-son team, they quickly agree on which subjects arouse their interest. Naturally, they don’t always have the exact same opinion. After all, they are different people from two different generations.
Regardless, they work together creatively. On equal footing, Horst and Daniel Zielske discuss aesthetics questions: should they shoot during the day or at night, how long should the exposure be, or where exactly should they put the tripod? Although the photos demonstrate an impressive lightness, they are actually the product of perfect preparation. Angle, image size, and exposure length are planned exactly in advance.
Taking Photographs When No One’s Around
Both photographers love inclement weather. Thick fog, rain, and clouds give their picture a particular allure. Using long exposures of up to 20 minutes, the images seem almost surreal. The photographers’ favourite time to work is in the morning during the blue hour.
A special atmosphere reigns shortly before the sun comes up. Those who successfully capture it have no need to edit their images. That’s why the Zielskes only use Photoshop for minor colour temperature adjustments or to remove dust particles.
|1946||Birth of Horst Zielske in Fehmarn, Germany|
|1972||Birth of son Daniel Zielske in Göttingen, Germany|
|1993||A father and son photography team with an emphasis on applied photography, as well as architectural, landscape, and commercial photography|
|1999-Present||Began work on the ongoing German Symphony series consisting of German landscapes and vedutas|
|1999||Image series Megalopolis Shanghai|
|2002-2006||World's End series in Dungeness, England|
|2004||Las Vegas Boulevard series|
|2007||Took photographs in eight countries including France, Italy, and Switzerland for their Modern Turner series|
|2007-2010||Worked on the series New York City|
|2013||They live in Göttingen, Germany|
|2008||Megalopolis Shanghai, Von Lintel Gallery, New York, USA|
|2006||Megalopolis Shangai, Two-persons show at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany|