Pygmalion Karatzas studied Architecture at the Technical University of Budapest (1991-95), Urban Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (1995-97), and practiced architecture for 12 years. In 2006 he participated in the first 'Ecovillage Design Education' training-of-trainers course in Findhorn organized by the Global Ecovillage Network and endorsed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. Since 2013 he is focusing systematically on architectural and fine art photography, producing a portfolio of 250+ architectural, commercial and artistic projects from Europe, USA and Middle East.
His images are regularly featured in Greek and international media and they have received over 100 distinctions from leading global photographic competitions. He has participated in exhibitions in Greece, Italy, France, UK and USA with fine art prints being part of public and private collections. Between 2014 and 2019 he served as the photo editor for the Danish Architecture Center at their ezine arcspace.com. Divisare Atlas of Architecture ranks him among the top 100 architectural photographers worldwide. He is a contributing photographer to Arcaid Images London, iStock Getty Images and Adobe Stock.
His book collection ‘Integral Lens’ received the 3rd place in the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2018 and ‘Nortigo’ received the 2nd place in the Moscow International Foto Awards 2019. Between 2015 and 2016 with the prestigious Fulbright Artist Scholarship award he traveled for 5 months across United States where he conducted the project ‘Integral Lens' - an integral approach to the study and representation of the built environment through the photographic medium. Other noteworthy photo-reportage include: the architectural boom in Doha Qatar; the national pavilions at the EXPO 2015 in Milan; the Oceanus scientific expedition of the University of Patras in Lebanon; the coverage of Attiko Metro constructions in Athens and Thessaloniki for the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport; the environmental expeditions of the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation around Greece with the Typhoon Project.
In collaboration with professor of architecture Mark DeKay and in affiliation with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville their paper on a multi-perspectival approach to architectural photography was presented at the 3rd Integral European Conference in Hungary; at the 5th Trieste Photo Days Festival; and at the Integral Design & Research Lecture Series of the University IUAV of Venice. Since 2019 it became part of an academic mini-term curriculum. ‘Capturing the Human Experience in Place’ was developed and conducted by Mark DeKay, Pygmalion Karatzas and Susanne Bennett as a traveling photographic workshop for students from various faculties.
Through his commissioned assignments from architectural firms, businesses and organisations, his collaborative photojournalistic reportages, as well as his self-initiated photographic projects, he exhibits his passion and dedication to the study, representation and dissemination of the built environment and its broader role as a cultural asset.
For assignments, license and prints contact:
I work on assignments for architectural firms, construction companies, high-end real estate, commercial and corporate clients, public and private organisations, to provide proficient images for their portfolios, marketing packages, print and web publications, exhibitions and competitions. Available to photograph throughout Greece and internationally.
My architectural and fine art photography archives are available for license in editorial and commercial use. Images are Rights-Managed (RM) and provide a variety of applications. With an expanding international network and media types, we multiply your work's dissemination and display, increasing your exposure and indirect advertisement.
Limited edition gallery prints can be ordered for public or private display. Archival quality framed prints are ideal for thematic exhibitions and interior decorations of homes, work spaces and businesses.
Integral Lens - a multi-perspectival approach to architectural photography
[extract from the paper co-authored with prof. Mark DeKay]
The ‘four quadrants’ of Ken Wilber’s integral approach take into consideration the interior and exterior aspects of both the individual and the collective perspectives of an investigated phenomenon, in order to provide a comprehensive study that respects all available dimensions in a non-reductionistic manner.
An integrally-informed approach to architectural photography also requires “touching all the bases”, that is, taking a comprehensive view from these four fundamental perspectives. One interpretation of the four quadrants for photography is illustrated in figure 1. Each quadrant can take on different labels, depending on the subject being considered. For photography, we have renamed these to fit.
1) Photographer’s Consciousness, “The Eye” (upper-left quadrant, interior/subjective/individual perspective). The UL domain encompasses aspects such as: perception, original impulse and intention, intuition, insight, self-expression, truthfulness, vision, spontaneity and freedom, state of mind (concentration, mindfulness, awareness), aspiration and motivation, discipline, introspection, psychological barriers, the soul and spirit.
2) Photographic Product, “The Frame” (upper-right quadrant, exterior/objective/individual perspective). The UR domain encompasses aspects such as: composition, proportion, rhythm, symmetry, balance, tonality, form, coherence, structure, novelty, repetition, simplicity/complexity, measurable and observable features.
3) Photography Culture, “The View” (lower-left quadrant, interior/collective/intersubjective perspective). The LL domain encompasses aspects such as: content, themes, series, styles and movements, cultural background, historical reception and viewer response, literary theory and influences, values and ethics, communication and feedback, meaning and symbols, legitimacy and appropriateness, pluralism and relativism, worldviews and paradigm shifts.
4) Photography Systems, “The System” (lower-right quadrant, exterior/objective/collective perspective). The LR domain encompasses aspects such as: photographic gear and technology, post-processing, printing and editing, presentation and exhibition, production and distribution, utility, function, client brief, business, regulations and rights, information and knowledge, institutions and networks, social/ economic/ political/ environmental conditions and contexts.
All of these are partial perspectives on the holistic endeavor that is the photographic phenomenon. The perspectives are both distinct and ever-present. Indeed there are schools of thought attached to each of the four major perspectives.
The integral perspective pays homage to the major past and present genres of the field, from the early realists and pictorialists to the postmodernists and editorialists. Put together, they highlight four broader functions of the historic relationship between architecture and photography:
- Documenting and portraying the built environment and the urban condition,
- Making architecture with photography,
- Producing architectural critique and contributing to urban discourse,
- Establishing an expressive dialogue with the contemporary urban landscape and aspiring to something greater.
M.Sc. Urban Design
Link to the full paper:
“In Greece, scholars and students who have been supported by Fulbright have made a big impact on society. There are also countless other Fulbright alumni working in small or medium-sized businesses, non-governmental organizations, schools and research institutions that may be less known to the general audience, however, impact the world we live in without us knowing.”
- U.S. Ambassador David D. Pearce
“The photographs themselves take a range of subjects, both city and nature, buildings and contexts, interiors and exteriors, wholes and parts, full of people and empty of habitation, frozen structures and dynamic skies—cityscapes, urban waterscapes and wild landscapes. The wide-angle Karatzas lens ranges widely. If integral consciousness is “aperspectival” (meaning beyond individual perspectives), as Jean Gebser put it, then something of this lens is available to viewers of this work. Although filled with page-turning anticipation about what comes next, this is not work to be glanced over as a coffee-table fashion book. I encourage you to take a long-exposure view of each image. Let the Integral Lens take you somewhere.”
- Prof. Mark DeKay, Author ‘Integral Sustainable Design’
"In this book, Karatzas demonstrates his special sensitivity to light, space, and form. We are fortunate to be able to view the world through his lens and glimpse our built environment with the eyes of a master."
— Alexander Strecker, Managing Editor, LensCulture
“The magnificent color and black/white photographs with their sharp outline, atmospheric lighting, soft colors and wide angle immediately impress on the viewer an image of the expansiveness and variety of the American landscape both urban and natural.”
— Els Siakos Hanappe, Program Coordinator, Fulbright Foundation Greece
Morphogenesis’ is the A+ Award Popular Choice Winner in the ‘Plus Categories | Architecture +Photography & Video’ category. This is an unparalleled honor. With entries from over 100 countries, your work truly represents the best of architecture worldwide. As an Architizer A+ Award recipient you have been identified as an industry leader for architecture and design worldwide.”
- Marc Kushner, CEO Architizer, awards.architizer.com
“Pygmalion Karatzas’ photos lend a dramatic air to the center, and accurately document the journey of shadow and light over the face of the building. a dialogue between natural and built environments is evident, with the ever present plants, clay, sky and mountains encroaching onto and amplifying the physical intervention of the visitor center itself.”
- Peter Corboy, designboom.com, Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center in Nevada.
"Pygmalion Karatzas creates compelling fine art photographs that would appeal to architects and photography collectors alike. His graphic black and white images made with long exposures are sumptuous renditions of details, as well as whole buildings and vistas. His attention to composition reveal his experience as both architect and photographer."
- Julie Grahame, Editor, Curator
“Our desire to transmit the genuine feeling that our work emanates was documented successfully at the photographic work we received from Pygmalion. Sincere images, telling the truth about the material, textures and the relationship of the building to the landscape, capture the experience one has on site, and it was conveyed in digital media. Worth mentioning his friendly disposition and mild attitude, qualities that in combination with his knowledge, clear view, and the continues quest that characterizes his work, make up the conditions of an excellent final result.”
- Valia Foufa, Architect, www.0-2.gr
“The images by architectural photographer Pygmalion Karatzas dramatically capture the various looming volumes of the building, erected in New Orleans to honor those who fought on the side of the allies. The intersecting grey façades of the WWII museum are depicted here in stark relief against the grey new orleans sky, and accurately display the angular interplay between cement and glass.”
- Peter Corboy, designboom.com, National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
“Pygmalion's artistic expression is what we seek at Stark-Magazine as we are obsessed with promoting the Intelligent Eye in photography. This element is reflected in Pygmalion's vision and creativity -- we recognize the moment the artist captures something unique or unusual as he engages the subject. Not only evident in his architectural work, but we see this in his other works as I am reminded of "spanish steps - in rome" - the artist sees something in the moment and has the awareness to capture.”
– Jason Lowry, Publisher Stark Magazine
“This is stunning imagery and certainly tests the viewer to look at architecture in a more dynamic way. Your use of long exposures and how you play with perspective are innovative and your technical ability is excellent. I particularly like image ‘Weill Cornell’ and how it causes me to think differently about this space in Qatar in almost a fictional way. Also images ‘MyZeil’ and ‘Usher Hall extension’ really work in the way you confound your viewer with the shift in perspective. Overall you surely have a distinct style and command of your aesthetics and technique, excellent work!”
– LensCulture review on ‘Morphogenesis’ series
"Pygmalion offers the viewer a glimpse into the integration of the bicameral mind of an architect speaking and the photographer acting with a zen-like vision to produce an impressive portfolio of fine art architectural photography. His ease with geometric compositions coupled with and an intuitive grasp of the spiritual elements within the material edifices of worldly architecture allows us to observe a creative dance between the light and shadows to an orchestra of tones in his images. Much like his namesake, you will become enamoured by his artistic creations."
– John Kosmopoulos, International Award-Winning Fine Art Photographer
"The photographs by Pygmalion Karatzas are captivating - shot in black & white of really high end architecture, from buildings by Herzog and de Meuron to 20th Century classics. The style of photography is atmospheric, with a focus on interesting angles, often looking sharply up, or indeed down! Pygmalion captures the buildings cleanly and most images include wisps of clouds that act as an antidote to the rationality of the architecture below."
– Adrian Welch, founder and editor of e-architect
“Very permanent structures juxtapose a transient, almost melting skyline. Yes, photographer and architect Pygmalion Karatzas work definitely has more than a touch of Salvador Dali - Sebastião Salgado’s about it, coupled with a crisp graphic quality.”
- Ansel Neckles, Creative director and co-founder of Let’s Be Brief and twenty%extra
“Some might ask why photographing archtiecture? At the end of the day, it’s just steel, glass and stones, it’s not natural. Most people can connect with a tree, an animal and people, but not with a building or bridge. I would like to quote here the great Le Corbusier: “Architecture is a thing of art, a phenomenon of the emotions, lying outside questions of construction and beyond them. The purpose of construction is to make things hold together; of architecture to move us.”. It takes a special kind of photographer to perfectly capture that emotional intensity which is the soul of all great architecture and to evoke the true character of a building. The images selected here are perfect examples of architectural dream like visions by some of the best fine art photographers”.
- Mihai Florea, curator Architecture section, Pentaprism magazine
“La risposta di Laura e Allegra played host to the daytime charity event ‘Punti di vista’ in Rome, December 9th 2014. The organizers picked up the best works of some contemporary photographers and presented to the public with a chance to purchase them and thereby support Charity. This exhibition was a diverse gathering of many photographers from Italy and abroad who share a common interest in capturing a specific moment and situation using the photographic image as a starting point with a variety of ending goals. Ranked as one of the most appreciated of the show, Pygmalion Karatzas exhibited a collection of his architectural images of Rome. Although the locations may be familiar, the images presented them in new and striking ways both to visitors and residents alike. Pygmalion combines his considerable technical expertise as well as his artistic skills, in creating this series of photographs that focus on architecture. The funds raised are being invested into psychological support of the pediatric cancer patients.”
- La risposta di Laura e Allegra
"We are very happy with Pygmalion’s photographic work for Mitsis Hotels. Most of our 17 Hotels & Resorts, were recently renovated and we needed the right photographer to portray the value of our investment, the quality of the materials used, the finishing touch, etc. We found in Pygmalion the best partner for that. Besides his excellent photographic skills, he is also a genuinely kind person, very dedicated and passionate about his work, chasing always the right light no matter the time of day. It is not rare I’ve seen him wondering around the hotel in the dark to be able to capture the first ray of sun!"
- Faye Leoussi, Mitsis Group Corporate Affairs
“Pygmalion Karatzas is a great talent behind a photographic lens! He has pleasantly surprised us with the results of each of our collaborations. His images have a mystery and atmospheric mood, he plays with light and speed, the colours are mythical, and he achieves every time to elevate our architectural works with a unique way he only knows how!” - Ria Vogiatzi, Architect, Founding Partner of Elastic Architects
“With his photographic lens Pygmalion Karatzas composes an architecture free of compromises and strips down the project. His approach has one parameter: the truth of the design coupled with a dreamy realism. He adds a veil of remembrance around architecture without being romantic. I thank him from my heart for his ethos, insight and magical gaze. I am grateful for our excellent collaboration and his modesty which is directly proportional to his explosive talent.” - Nikos Mourikis, Architect / Artist
"Pygmalion knows very well when and where to put his tripod to have the best results. In fact, he can control gray shades so masterfully that this ability is extremely noticeable in all his photos especially black and white architecture ones. His great recognition of correct camera and software use to reach a great shot can be observed in both technical and artistic fields. In today's world where all black and white architecture photos are too similar to each other, Pygmalion has tried to be separated from this similarity through finding the best composition along with transferring his own vision and attitude. Consequently, he has been a successful artist in this trend."
- Milad Safabakhsh, photographer and editor of B&W Minimalism Magazine
“The Pygmalion Karatzas photograph seems to stop a time passing too quickly. Pygmalion dominates the taking of images using long expositions to perfection, impregnating his scenes of a unique atmosphere, thus obtaining an unmistakable point of view with a strong seal and a marked personality.”
- Maxim Panés, Founder & Director, Dodho Magazine
"We had the pleasure to present Pygmalion Karatzas’ work at The Greek Foundation with great success. This photographic exploration of the American continent offers great possibilities to the viewer to interact and experience the landscapes. His unique intimate look at the urban environment, creates a framework for the observer to interpret the context in different scale and depth. Architecture and Photography merge in an uncommon way and this reflects strongly on the viewer, who is taken slowly into a journey to remember.”
- Kostis Karatzas, Founder & Director ‘The Greek Foundation’
"I know Pygmalion for quite some time and i must say his evolution to a fine art architectural photographer was a revelation to me. Not because i had doubts about his amazing skills but because his unique eye gave a new "artistic air" in a field surrounded by many talented people. His latest collections with architectural works are a thesaurus of motion and light mixed with lines and forms. I suggest everyone to give a good look and get inspired by this amazing talent and i am sure very soon his star will shine if not yet. Although I have a special interest in landscape photography his work motivates me to give a try. I guess this is the feeling of everyone discovering his amazing work and i guess this is the power of photography. Congratulations Pygmalion and wait anxiously for your new works."
– Vassilis Tangoulis, Fine art photographer
“I don't think I've ever seen monochrome images as good as this. Pygmalion is a complete photographer from the original photo to the final work. His pictures indicate a great artistic sense. Beyond their technical qualities, they plunge us into a real atmosphere.”
- Aidan Sartin Conte, Editor, founder, publisher and Art Director of PhotographizeMag
Anmahian Winton Architects, Elastic Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, R.C. TECH Architects, BAAR Studio, 02 Architecture / Valia Foufa, Studio 2Pi Architecture / Panagiotis Papassotiriou, Nikolas Kouretas, Human Point / Loukas Fotopoulos, Patrick Genard & Asociados, Fouad Samara Architects, Nikos Mourikis Architect, Sergey Fedotov, Harald Nürnberg, Königswinter, Konstantinos Grigoriadis, Legorreta Architects, Elias Gamilis & Associates, Office 25 Architects, Exarchou - Tsiouris A.E. / Enviro, MKV Design, Leaf Architects Studio, Tzinieris Architecture & Design, EMPI & Associates Architects.
COMMERCIAL / BUSINESSES
Eye Center, Lille Kaffe, Blind Pilots Traveling, Fotoplano, Ideal Work, Deutsche Bauchemie, Bazos dental, Apleton Architectural Lighting, Promeda Architectural Material, Nussli Temporary Event Structures, QDVC Engineering and Construction, PROLAT natural innovative materials, Mitsis Hotels, TRU Paradise Beach Club, CanePlex Design, Sofitel Athens Airport/ Accor Hotels, G Design Studio, EUROPA Profil Aluminium Systems, Vector Engineers / ELIN Technical S.A., STO ISONED, Sky-Frame AG, Woodetails / Sismanidis, Axxion Surface / Tsiggenopoulos, Karamichail Developer, Marmyk / Iliopoulos, IFI Lights, Technikal Aluminiums, ETEM Aluminiums, MAPEI, Hager Hellas, Tescon, Trif Light, Trif Mebel, Klimamichaniki - Daikin, Samsung Greece, Woodlam - RND, Noval Properties, Luce & Light, Luce Ataliotis, Kafkas, ELTOP, Prolat, EVEL Steel.
Arcspace.com, Archisearch.gr, Designboom.com, E-architect.co.uk, Greekarchitects.gr, Neutymes.com, Mimoa.eu, Ili & Ktirio / Intracord, EK Magazine, DOM Publishers, KL Borgogno Management.
LICENSE / STOCK
Arcaid Images, iStock Getty Images, Adobe Stock, Station Real, Brick Publishing, Silvana Editoriale, EducaBrasil.
ACADEMIC / FOUNDATIONS
University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Laboratory of Marine Geology & Physical Oceanography, Fulbright Foundation Greece, Honor Frost Foundation, Xatzikonsta Foundation, A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, I.M. Pei Foundation, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.