Matthias Olmeta

Everytime I discovered a new artist, brand…something new to me, I became thrilled, because it´s like a new push, to think forward, to create something…to be more creative. Quite never happened to me to “get” a discover literally in front of my apartament. That happened with the photographer Matthias Olmeta, who showcased his work in the Atelier Jungwirth in Graz (Austria) till the end of June.

“Perfection is the enemy of beauty“ is the motto of photographer Matthias Olmeta, who was born in Marseille in 1968. At the age of 16, he discovered his love for cameras and two years later, he moved to Los Angeles to study Visual Arts at the Santa Monica City College. As he needed to apply for a visa regularly, he traveled a lot at that time. Travelling became a passion that has influenced his work until today. From prostitutes in Athens to patients of a psychiatric clinic in Havanna, Olmeta always puts the human being into the center of his imagery. In the following years, he travelled a lot of around the world, lived in London, New York and then in Marseille again.
His work is characterized not only by his lovefor the beauty but also by a fascination with the technical development of photography. Olmeta is not a big fan of the digital era. He prefers to use ambrotype, a technique that was developed around 1850. Ambrotype, which is hardly remembered nowadays, is a complex as well as aesthetically remarkable method. A layer of collodium is being exposed on a glass pane. Then, the light glass negative is inverted to a positive image by a black background of paper or velvet. The subject or object in front of the camera needs to stay absolutely still during the shooting. The result is definitely unique and appears as if from another time. Olmeta applies this technique when taking pictures of old people and children, but also the skulls of animals or dried insects. Around the same time he became acquainted with ambrotype, Olmeta discovered shamanism, which he claims helped him overcome his fears. The children and adolescents he frequently works with form, according to Olmeta, a missing link to nature. Museums and collections in Canada, England and France have bought his works.

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