Michael Meyersfeld is an internationally recognised Johannesburg- based photographer.
Image – making has fascinated him from an early age, and at six years old he was making black and white contacts from a Brownie camera in a cupboard under the stairwell at his home.
Meyersfeld was born and raised in Johannesburg, schooled at King Edwards and although his first choice was architecture, he completed a B.Com degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. He then joined the family steel business, and made the transition into full-time photography after the business was sold.
Meyersfeld and his (3rd) wife, Saranne have lived for twenty years in a converted stable within an urban forest in Sandton. They have, between them, four children, one delinquent foster and a large assortment of dogs and cats. Meyersfeld plays the violin for his relaxation, not his wife’s.
Undeniably reclusive, they both enjoy music, reading, good food, wine and Italy.
Meyersfeld started his photographic career as a fine art photographer, and has comfortably straddled fine art and advertising photography for many years, but he comfortably acknowledges a desire to return to the expressiveness that fine art photography allows.
He admits to a great sense of excitement being in the world of digital photography and all that it encompasses.
He runs a studio in Johannesburg, complete with full production facility and an in-house creative retouching expert.
His work schedule revolves around his personal fine-art projects and commercial work for the advertising industry, both in South Africa and abroad.
Meyersfeld’s third exhibition-linked publication is currently underway.
A social commentary entitled “Urban Disquiet”; this series looks at Johannesburg, the urban landscape, from mining town to modern day metropolis and allows a glimpse of society’s nihilism.
Meyersfeld’s first book, “Gaze”, was published in February 2003. A photographic book, with an intellectual spin, the subject being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people celebrating their orientation.
His subjects range from one extreme to the other, encompassing many social, intellectual and cultural levels. The subjects include a broad spectrum of people – Justice of the Constitutional Court, performance artists, black and white priests, pregnant lesbians, DJ’s, drag queens, artists, musicians writers, business people, activists and celebrated intellectuals.
His second publication, “Life Staged”, was companion to Meyersfeld’s 14th exhibition.
This book is a collector’s edition of 100 signed copies.
These are not random photographs. Each image is planned, sculpted, structured and directed to the point where the desired tension is captured. The art is in conception, the rest in the execution.
The three themes link respectively to conditioning, judgement and the changing role of woman
The sections encompass the Life Staged trilogy of 12 Naked Men, Woman Undone and Guests at the Troyeville Hotel as well as commissioned poetry.
“12 Naked Men” is a photographic essay, dealing with the conditioning of man.
“Woman Undone” reflects the changing role of women in the last few decades. Here Meyersfeld explores clashes or the possibly synthesis of 21st century ideals with traditional cultural norms. He challenges the stereotypical restrictiveness of gender in the male-dominated society intent on protecting its power and position.
“Guests at the Troyeville Hotel” loosely explores judgement and possibly the long history of attempts to understand it.
Works in Johannesburg Art Gallery
From the series 12 Naked Men.
“Bewildered,” and “Acceptance”.
The University of the Witwatersrand
The Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management acquired the following images:
“Swimmers Sea Point Pool,” and “Mandela Bridge”.
AOP Awards London
2010 – Gold Non-Commissioned Body Single (Alex Church)
2008 – 3 Bronze (Mercedes SLK Campaign)
2010 – Gold Award – Kalahari.net Campaign
Sony Profoto Awards, South Africa
2010 – Picture of the Year – Professional Category (Alex Church)
2010 – 2 Silver Awards – Professional Advertising Category (Ecomist Campaign)
2010 – 1 Gold Award – Professional Photo Journalism Category (Alex Church)
2009 – 1 Gold Award – Professional Advertising Category (Yum Yum Purple)
Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
2008 – Finalist (Olay)
2006 – 4 Shortlists (Durex Campaign)
2005 – 2 Gold Lions, 1 Silver lion, 2 Shortlists (Nugget First Campaign)
The One Show, New York
2010 – Finalist (Ecomist Campaign)
2008 – 2 Merits (Olay)
2007 – 3 Merits (Post – it)
2006 – 1 Bronze Pencil (Durex Campaign), 3 Merits (Durex & Nugget Second Campaign)
2005 – 2 Silver Pencils, 1 Bronze, 2 Merits (Nugget First Campaign)
The Andys, New York
2007 – Bronze Statue (Post – it)
2006 – Bronze statue (Nugget First Campaign)
Clios Advertising Awards, USA
2005 – 2 Silver Statues, 1 Bronze Statue (Nugget First Campaign)
New York Advertising Festival
2007 – 1 Gold World Medal (Post – it)
2007 – 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold (Mercedes SLK Campaign)
2007 – 1 Gold
2006 – 1 bronze World Medal, 4 Finalists (Durex and Nugget Second Campaign)
2005 – 2 Gold World Medals, 1 Silver World Medal, 5 Finalists (Nugget First Campaign)
London International Advertising Awards
2008 – 1 Silver (Olay)
2006 – 1 Winner Statue, 6 Finalists Awards (Post-it, Durex and Nugget Second campaign)
2005 – 1 Winner Statue, 4 Finalists Awards (Nugget First Campaign)
2004 – 1 Winner Statue, 2 Finalists (Target Ambient)
2006 – Print Campaign accepted for publication (Durex Campaign)
2005 – Print Campaign accepted for publication (Nugget First Campaign)
The Eagle Awards
2008 – Bronze (Olay)
2006 – Bronze Eagle
Creative Circle (South Africa) Ad of the Month
2006 – 1 Winner in February
2005 – 4 Winners in January, February, May & June
- 1975; Nedbank Gallery
- 1977; SA Pentax Gallery
- 1978: Goodman Gallery
- 1979: Gallery Querschnitt
- 1980: Pentax Gallery
- 1982: Marker Photo Gallery
- 1986: The Photo Gallery
- 1995: Everard Read Gallery
- 2001: Photo ZA Gallery
- 2001: Paris Photo
- 2004: Photo ZA Gallery
- 2007: David Brown Gallery
- 2010: Obert Conteporary