Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt was here in the Ruhr Area I live in. He was invited because of his exibition “I am serious about not being serious” in the Ludwig Gallery in the Palace Oberhausen. Till September 11th, 2011 they show photographs he created for his »personal pleasure« in a time span of 60 years. The exibition I warmly recomment to visit. There are a lot of aesthetic and humorous photographs to enjoy. Most of them are candid with only a very few that are posed. Some of Erwitt´s photographs are shown here.
The interview with Elliott Erwitt and his book signing was more than a little bit overcrowded. I was very lucky to get some moments and small spots between all those heads and shoulders for taking photographs for myself.
A little it bit felt like that there are fans wanting to reach a celebrity. Photographers did crowd the scene flashing all the time with cameras in burst modus. Unlike the meeting with Robert Lebeck there was no opportunity to meet Elliott Erwitt and to have a small conversation.
Here I record some of his answers within the interview:
Q: »Would you be a photographer if you could start your life from new?« – Elliott Erwitt: »I would photograph the same sujects in the same manner I did. My photography has not changed when doing it for my own over 60 years. Only the photographs I created for clients did change because of the changing needs of my customers.«
Q: »When evolving as a photographer, at which point in time did you state yourself to be a good photographer?« – Elliott Erwitt: »It is up to you to judge my state.«
Q: »Why all those dogs?« – Elliott Erwitt: »They live all over the world. They are friendly. I like them. They don´t ask for prints.«
Q: »Do you create a lot of photographs to do the great ones?« – Elliott Erwitt: »Photography is like fishing. Sometimes you are fishing and don´t get one fish. Sometimes you think you catched a fish but you haven´t. Sometimes you catch a small one, sometimes you catch a bigger one. Mostly it´s crap.«