18 May 2008


Photographer: Rafael Arocha


This weekend The Police Museum in Stockholm opened an exhibition of photographs depicting people who had committed crimes. The photo above was registered at the police in 1895 and portrays Carl Wilhelm Strand ( aka "Piggen"). He was then 18 years old and the card says that he had been
arrested for theft. The exhibition will be on until 20 July. See also our story about the Sydney Police Mugshots.

invited guest: Art Haegenbarth

That Art picked up a camera and began to take photos couldn’t have been foreseen, as he earned a degree in philosophy, not art. His images are so original and unexpected that I am reminded of Andre Breton’s phrase, “Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.”
Art's mind and his eyes collaborate to create works that are nothing less than astonishing. His mind's eye becomes existentially present in the moment of the release of the shutter.
The works presented here are some of his first photos. I was drawn to them for their textures, whether smooth and sensuous or rough and abject. Art doesn't avoid difficult compositional situations; in fact, he uses those situations to his visual advantage.
The abstraction in his photos subverts the usual way of arriving at a deep emotional experience. Art doesn't present cliches or symbols of emotion, but through the properties of the photograph, allows the viewer to find their own response to the image.
As a viewer, I find surfaces that almost have no illusion of depth…one's eyes must move across the surface and find what is there, like reading a page of text.
Other images are tough, abject markings/traces of written negations.
Art is touching the world.
Art's statement: A true communication sometimes appears to be one sentence, which is much more than thousands of billions of images. You shall not wait for a decisive moment; it is in your every breath.
You can see more of Art's work on his website
--invited by bea rowland