EXHIBITION BY MARKUS HENTTONEN
8 – 22 May 2017
2003 – 2015
My photographic work is about people and environment and the relationship between them. And beach is a place that I have always found fascinating. It is a special environment where you immediately combine thoughts of summer, vacation and joy, sea and sand. It is also a place where people gather, with their colorful towels and umbrellas, strangers closely side by side, to enjoy the temporary freedom and holiday.
What makes this place especially interesting are the specific social codes of wardrobe and behavior in the beach. The boundaries of personal space are more flexible in a crowded holiday beach then many other places. It is also a place where social status and professional positions are insignificant. Everyone is equal in this specific holiday environment. And everyone comes to the beach for the same reason, to relax and enjoy. It feels like a place where is still left some communal feeling, a togetherness that is rare at this time where everyone lives in their small worlds, disconnected from those of others.
From early on I have chosen to photograph the images from above, giving an overview of the beach in one particular moment. I have waited for the right moment, things to happen and people to move in certain ways. This series is based on the very basics, the decisive moment of photography.
The picturesque images are captured at a distance where you can still see details, expressions and gestures. The whole beach in one certain captured moment. All the small details, rich colors and rhythm of people create a painting like image, where you can almost hear the laughter, sense the happiness, acceptance and love, smell the sunscreen and fresh winds from the sea just by looking. It is almost like a photographic continuum to the impressionist paintings.
But not only a visual perspectives, or a personal experience and sense of place, this series brings attention to the precious nature paradise that we still have. The environmental issues are more and more on table, as the seas get filled with waste. Are we willing and able to protect this treasure that we have so that the magic of beach and sea is still there for the future generations?
This project started already in 2003 when I was living in Barcelona. I photographed the on the coastal area of Costa Brava, later also Mallorca, Menorca, Tenerife in Spain and Salvador de Bahia in Brazil until 2007. I rediscovered this topic and found new inspiration and returned to the work in 2015. I have new ideas and will continue working on this theme again this summer.
The photography of Markus Henttonen is storytelling, cinematic and poetic. His timeless and beautiful images of landscape and people have a special atmosphere and lingering moods. Markus has a prominent style that is at the same time sensual and honest with a tiny hint of melancholy underneath.
Barcelona is the city where Markus´ artistic career really started. After graduating from Turku Arts Academy in Finland he moved to the city and finished his first personal art project «Paral-lel City», which was published as a book and exhibition in 2004.
Since then he has shared his time between art and commercial photography working with numerous editorial and commercial clients and having his works shown in over 100 solo- and group exhibitions throughout Europe.
Markus has released 3 monographs, most recent «Twisted Tales – Road to Hope» worldwide via Hatje Cantz. Lately his works have been exhibited in major International group shows alongside renowned artists such as David LaChapelle, Pierre & Gilles, Mitch Epstein and Robert Polidori.
Markus currently lives and works between Berlin, Barcelona and his native country Finland.MARKUSHENTTONEN.COM