Introduction to Morphogenesis
"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
Volume one of the Morphogenesis series started in February 2013 with a road trip from Rome to Basel to Frankfurt. Visiting and capturing contemporary architecture and urban scenes in both a fine art and editorial manner. It has been an exploration in both the architecture itself and the photographic medium, as the buildings were visited for the first time and the capturing and processing techniques were new. The positive response and feedback from this body of work was the encouragement to continue exploring and expanding it.
Volume two followed in October 2013 with a visit to the booming construction of Doha in Qatar. In this second trip the research extended beyond landmark building to visiting construction sites, meeting with industry professionals and communication officials. The themes from vol.1 were continued and enriched: fine art, black and white, long exposure building portraits as stand-alone images, architectural abstracts as studies on patterns and details, panoramic cityspaces as general impressions, editorial coverage as narrative stories of building profiles, construction sites of works in progress, contemplations on the interaction between people and spaces, commercial works, and studies of country side landscapes and urban terrain vague.
Volume three is the result of the latest road trip from Scotland to Germany to Italy in July 2014. Buildings that were visited include: The Chapel of St. Albert in Edinburgh by Simpson & Brown, The Scottish Parliament in Ediburgh by Enric Miralles & Benedetta Tagliabue, Riverside museum in Glasgow by Zaha Hadid, Quartermile redevelopment in Edinburgh by Foster & Partners, Usher Hall extension in Edinburgh by LDN, Porsche Museum in Stuttgart by Delugan Meissl, BMW Welt Museum in Munich by Coop Himmelb(I)au, Casa Enzo Ferrari in Modena by Jan Kaplicky & Shiro Studio, which comprise the editorial architectural photography chapter. The chapter ‘Morphogenesis’ is a continuation of the fine art “portraits” of architecture and complementary to this series, are the three following chapters ‘Atriums’, ‘Patterns’, and ‘Cool lines’ which focus on these thematic subjects. During this third trip the aspect of moving images (videography) was added to the repertoire, using timelapse, hyperlapse techniques and aerial footage with a drone. A sample of this aspect is featured in the chapter ‘Drone aerial’. As with the two previous volumes, the collection finishes with series of landscapes to complement or contrast the country side to the built environment.
The “reception & response” progress of these series started with the participation in online curated galleries (such as artlimited.net, 1x.com, stark-magazine.com, behance.net, ndmagazine.net, lensculture.com, lens-folio.com) and the interaction with fellow photographers at different levels from amateur, to advanced, to professionals. The positive feedback led to the participation in renowned international photography competitions (such as World Photography Organisation, Architizer A+ Awards, International Photography Awards, Spider Black & White Awards) at which single and series of the images received distinctions. Parallel to my own photography I also worked as photo editor of arcspace.com interviewing and featuring photographers and their diverse approaches, both fine art and editorial/professional (such as Andrew Prokos from USA, Michael Massaia from USA, Juergen Nogai from Germany/USA, John Kosmopoulos from Canada, Akira Takaue from Japan, Thomas Mayer from Germany, Irene Kung from Switzerland/Italy, Marina & Moron from Spain, Michael Wolf from Hong Kong/France, Joao Morgado from Portugal, Shannon McGrath from Australia, Yiorgis Yerolymbos from Greece, Roland Halbe from Germany, Tim Griffith from Australia/USA, Ake Eson Lindman from Sweden, Bilyana Dimitrova from USA, Fernando Guerra from Portugal). A book on this work is in progress. The latest reception & response include the participation by invitation to three international photography exhibitions (‘Eye see the story’ in Thessaloniki Greece, ‘Points of view’ in Rome Italy, ‘Misty Landscapes’ in Athens Greece), the discussions for representation by two architectural photography agencies from Germany and UK, and the proposal for a scholarship project on an integral approach to the dissemination of the built environment through the photographic medium in the US.
I would like to give special thanks to: Panaghiotis Bazos, George Karatzas, Caterina Georgiopoulou, John Kosmopoulos, Andrew Prokos, Nikos Skartsilas, Petros Zouzoulas, Anas Akkawi, Gianfranco Politano, Vassilis Tsamis, Venkat Prakash, Adrian Welch, Vasili Mistrioti, Sidsel Hartlev, Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Tim Griffith, Thomas Mayer, Joao Morgado, Amelia Taylor-Hochberg, Petros Vasiadis, Sissy Nikolaidi, Israel Perez Vega, Marta Piazza, Emanuele Cucuzza, Alessandro Giacalone, Francois Nel, Ansel Neckles, Jason Lowry, Jim Casper, Jade Doskow, Julie Grahame, Morten Scholz, Martina Nadal, Oscar Ramos Orozco, Tania Droggitou, Erin Kuhlman, Reem Al Bloshi, Paula Brazao Antunes, May East, Aidan Imanova, Christine Larsen, Markos Dolopikos, Mark DeKay, Lynne Bryant, Kirki Mariolopoulou, The Blind Pilots, Tom, Natalie, Kimon Valavanis, Bilyana Dimitrova, Marina & Moron, Gitakou Konstantina, Marc Kushner, Handa Natsukori, Angelos Tsakonas, Nikos Mourikis, Tareq Hassan, Sotiris Taxiarhopoulos, Pepi Spiliotopoulou, the Qatar Foundation, QDVC, Parsons, SEG Qatar, Al Hamad Engineering, Amara Photos, Omar Chatriwala, Claudia Olaru, Janet Leow, Waleed Khan, Nehal Maher, Azza Al Rifai, Khalifa Al Kubaisi.
Print versions are available through blurb.com:
“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 recognise 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. Pygmalion’s use of long exposures and how he plays with perspective are innovative and his technical ability is excellent. Overall he surely has a distinct style and command of aesthetics and technique, excellent work!”
“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