The pictures of Jan C. Schlegel bear witness of the special encounters of the photographer with unique people on his trips through Africa and Asia. Since 1998 Jan C. Schlegel regularly travels to remote places, which are secluded from the tourism of the western world. On his tours the artist observed the rapid decline of traditions and increasing change of the way of life of the people within their tribes due to globalisation. The inexorable changes woke the urgent wish in the photographer to portrait people, to capture impressions and to preserve traditional life forms in his pictures.
Thus Schlegel not only creates artistic photographs, but also documents and preserves unique pieces of art – the people themselves. None of people photographed wear special make-up or were specially dressed before the photographs were taken. Nothing was staged, nothing is fake. They were all captured in their own habitat – at the market, in the village square, or simply on the roadside. The only stylistic device Schlegel uses for each one of his photographs is a simple grey background. With it he concentrates the attention on the people, not on their living conditions. The basic message is the internal and external beauty of the pictured people. Schlegel emphasises their uniqueness, their value and their irreparableness. With his art he fights for the particularity and individuality of the cultures.
During the last years Schlegel visited 61 countries, always in search of the distinctive beauty and variety of the people. The picture’s compositions, the highly contrasted play of light and shadow, the inner dynamics and the extraordinary perspectives, open a crack in the door of secret-treasures of this world that are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Schlegel often stays several weeks with the tribes to get to know and understand its way of life. With his assistant Schlegel lives in modest circumstances among the people, which he tries to portray. Step by step the photographer gains their trust, in order to make pictures in the desired nearness and intimacy. With his photographs Jan C. Schlegel gives us a glimpse on foreign cultures and allows us to discover something about the uniqueness of every single person.



Creatures of the Seven Seas

Click on the image to zoom
Carcinus Maenas
56 x 76 cm
22.05 x 29.92 in.
Edition of 5

More from this series:

Of Aliens, Mermaids and Medusas

Handmade Platinum Prints, limited edition of 5 in the size of 56 x 76c m (Arches Platinum Rag).
A folio of 12 plates (plus cover page) is available as limited edition of 3

The series „of Aliens, Mermaids and Medusas" was inspired by imagination itself.

Today it seems as if its influence on people is losing its power because we begin to forget or stop noticing how imagination can change our lives. It is the way people approach all kinds of problems with creativity.

We live in a time of crisis when everything in the world has been turned upside down by global warming, ocean pollution, the coronavirus pandemic, and wars (just to mention a few). We have to deal with everyday problems, and this is quite difficult in a state of anxiety. In addition, we are attacked by negative news, and in this information noise, the voice of our imagination that helps us to cope mentally is drowned out.

We do not mean an escape from reality to completely lose touch with it, but a deeper dive into your inner world, where the answers to all questions lie. The ability to imagine, to think outside the box, encourages us to change for the better.

As these emulsions are mixed and coated by hand no two prints are exactly alike and become unique art pieces.

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