Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Phil Bergerson: A Retrospective

Canadian photographer and educator Phil Bergerson (b. 1947, Toronto) “found his calling as a photographer in the American social and cultural landscape” in the late 1980s while on a sabbatical from teaching at Ryerson University. “The focus of his work ever since has been the signs, display windows, hand-painted murals and graffiti found in cities and towns throughout the United States,” says the press release and the photographs in this beautifully done tome give testimony of a rich variety of cultural expressions. To my Swiss eyes the creativity displayed looks weird, funny, sad, pathetic, joyous, uplifting – touching expressions of the childlike human nature.

Needless to say, one has to have an especially good eye in order to see what Phil Bergerson saw and documented. Differently put: Not only his outsider view makes him see what many probably don’t, his attitude (“empathetic neighbour”) is equally important. Yet what, in my view, has to be applauded above all is the ingenuity of the folks who came up with all these fascinating and strange things that he photographed.

For the full review, see  here

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