Photographer Michael Meyersfeld, celebrated as the man who captured countless advertising campaigns through his lens, is known for his well-planned lighting and sophisticated and intelligent content.

This kind of work is commercial though, his bread and butter, and always an interpretation of someone else’s ideas, he says.  Art photography is his overriding passion, his own interpretation on circumstances and influences – an endeavour he increasingly devotes more attention to.

His commitment to art photography resulted in numerous solo exhibitions and coffee table books over the past few years and he was awarded amongst others the coveted gold medal for non advertising photography by the Association of Photographers (London) in 2010.  This followed on the heels of the local Sony Profoto award for Photo of the Year in 2009.

Meyersfeld’s next tour de force is an exhibition entitled “Life Staged” including four series of twelve works each namely “Twelve Naked Men”, “Woman Undone”, “Guests at the Troyeville Hotel” and “Urban Disquiet” at the UJ Art Gallery during February 2013.  Each of these photographs contribute to a collective tale about our society and is carefully conceptualized, planned, staged and completed to create a certain tension, to provide an ambiguous view on reality aimed at eliciting personal interpretation.

The individual images almost become single frames from an unusual movie:  sometimes grotesque, sometimes quick witted and tongue in the cheek, but always with tension inherent to human relations. He confronts the viewer with mundane daily situations which most of us would want to ignore:  the imbalance between rich and poor, the consequences of globalization and earth warming, a deficit of resources, prejudices.


His latest venture, entitled “Backlight”, emerged earlier this year from the impulse to promote South African fine art photography.  Meyersfeld, in collaboration with artists Stephen Hobbs, Marcus Neustetter and Bob Cnoops, presents regular exhibitions at his studio offering collectors an opportunity to appraise and purchase good conceptual work produced by South Africans.  Visitors furthermore have the opportunity to stay in touch with international fine art photography investment trends through Meyersfeld’s current database of global gallery sales.

Annali Cabano-Dempsey –

Courtesy of UJ Arts & Culture ART MUCH? www.uj.ac.za/arts

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