MARTIN OSNER FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
Welcome to the creative world of fine art photographer Martin Osner, an artist who considers a camera as merely another instrument on the workbench of art. By combining photography with mixed media and by using unique in-camera techniques, this award-winning and internationally recognised artist has created the most incredible portfolio of fine art prints, an inspiration, and a joy to behold...
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
On a winter’s day in 1984 “photography” and I met quite by accident, an encounter that redirected my life and changed it forever. Over the past twenty-eight years, while walking a path of self-discovery, my methodology has taken numerous detours. A journey that has refined a relaxed subconscious attitude, with a desire to express simplicity and honesty through my work. For me, a photograph holds an undeniable sense of realism, a new correlation that is easy to associate with. I see I understand; I experience, I connect. In my photography, I allow day to day life to provide inspiration and treat all subjects as a potential composition. I enjoy the conceptual transformation that a lens and camera offer. Although I have never been a dedicated painter, I see and experience the world in this way.
Life is my canvas, and I often feel like a painter trapped in a photographer’s body where lens and light have become an expressive substitute for paint and brushes. I usually create themes and grouping of images within my portfolio and on a given day, find myself working on a variety of projects at once, often taking years to complete. One of my great joys is using photography as a base to create mixed media pieces. I have adopted an intuitive approach resisting restriction to specific substrates, mediums or technique. Emotion and experimentation drive my creative process, and I allow the final artwork to evolve rather than containing its finality. In my work, I intently concentrate on elemental form, rhythm and pattern, allowing simplicity to engage visual impact.
I contribute my style to several artists and photographers. The great artist and photographer Henri Cartier Bresson have inspired my social commentary and documentary work, and the teachings of Ansel Adams have influenced my landscape photography. On the other hand, many of my still-life and abstract studies have been described as painterly expressionistic, drawing influences through the works of Henri Matisse and of late Jackson Pollock. In my spiritual walk, I experience hours of peace and contentment when behind the lens of my camera and in my studio, creating art.
I believe that my steps have been guided along an inventive and purposed path by an awesome and caring God. I have never doubted my love for photography or my burning passion for art. It is something I could never stop. It’s what I do; it‘s what I love, it’s who I am.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa (1963), Martin Osner opened his first photographic studio in Johannesburg (1985), where he established a solid reputation as a professional photographer and artist. In 1993, he relocated to Pretoria and co-founded the National College of Photography, which today has become the premier photographic training institution in Southern Africa under Advtech, a listed company under the branding (Vega school). During this time he continued to run his commercial photography studio and earned numerous Professional Photography awards.
In 2008, Osner moved to Cape Town to establish a photographic art gallery, which opened its doors in 2010 under his name. At the same time, he ceased all commercial photography pursuits, as he felt that he had to devote his full creative energy to his art. Then in 2013, still committed to teaching, Osner opened the “Martin Osner Photography School” in Hout Bay, where he lives. In 2012, he was invited by Canon Europe to take part in brand video production called “Power to your next step - landscape and portrait photography”, a tutorial video that was packaged with new DSLR Canon cameras as an instructional aid. At the same time, he served as a Canon Ambassador / Explorer for seven years. Recently in May 2017, Martin expanded the gallery in Cape Town, and it was rebranded to the Art Photography Gallery. Shortly after that, in 2018 with his daughter, Samantha Lee Osner, who shares his passion for photographic art, they opened a private gallery in Hout Bay where they exhibit as a father-daughter collaborative.
Over the last twenty-five years, Martin has taught hundreds of students pursuing photography as a career and thousands of keen amateur photographers. In his work, Osner eschews “straightforward” photography, favouring a more artistic vision that accords with his visual understanding and spiritual appreciation of the world. A multi-award-winning artist, including voted the best contemporary international artist 2008/2009 by Arteque art volume 3 (Masters of Today), his photography is characterised by an urge to explore, with the willingness to experiment and a desire to create. Concentrating intently on an elemental form, pattern and shape, paired with an inherent sense of restraint, he bears out his belief that simplicity is the cornerstone of successful imaging.
Today Osner specialises in a contemporary portfolio of fine art photography, offering limited edition Gicleé and traditional black & white vintage prints, into a collectors’ market. His collection consists of ghostly abstract renditions, moody landscapes and social documentary and mixed media prints.
LINDEN AUDITORIUM – November 2007 Johannesburg, South Africa I Featuring: Selected landscape and abstract work IMAGING HUB GALLERY – October 2007 Pretoria, South Africa I Featuring: Selected landscape and abstract work VOIR GALLERY Pretoria, South Africa – September 2007 I Featuring: Extremity / Abstract / Black Forest / Majestic Flow STEPHANIE HOPPEN GALLERY LONDON – September 2008 I Featuring: Abandoned / Urban reflection / Faceless society GALLERY GORA MONTREAL – December 2008 I Featuring: Abandoned series CTAS – September 2008 Cape Town, South Africa I Featuring: On the move / Extremity / Abandoned KYK ART SPACE – June 2008 Pretoria, South Africa I Featuring: Abandoned / Urban reflection ART ON KAROO – June 2008 Pretoria, South Africa I Featuring: Abandoned / Urban reflection/ GORDART GALLERY – May 2008 Johannesburg, South Africa I Featuring: Abandoned / Urban reflection/ Unrestricted / Road to freedom / Road to freedom / City life THOMPSON GALLERY – July 2009 Johannesburg, South Africa “ A child’s gaze” I Featuring: Endurance / Children from Geluk / Seaside Fantasy / Christmas spirit GORDART GALLERY – July 2009 Johannesburg, South Africa I Featuring: The fingerprint collection CREATIVE BOOST GALLERY MONTREAL – May 2009 I Featuring: Abandoned series Unrestricted / Road to freedom / Road to freedom / City life EVERARD READ GALLERY – Cape Town. September 2009 I Featuring: Abandoned series Unrestricted / Road to freedom / Road to freedom / City life MARTIN OSNER FINE ART GALLERY (2010 - 2017) Permanent exhibition space - Cape Quarter Piazza, 72 Waterkant Street, Cape Town, South Africa - February 2011 (Abandoned Collection) - November 2012 (Ghost Town Exhibition) - April 2014 (Earth Wind and Fire | Analogous Anthology) - February 2016 (Abandoned - Retrospective) MARTIN OSNER FINE ART GALLERY (Opened May 2017) Permanent exhibition space - Cape Quarter Life Style Village (The Square) - Cnr. of Dixon and Javis Street, Waterkant Street, Cape Town, South Africa. - May 2017 (Downtown / Seaside Fantasy) - November 2017 (Abandoned Retrospective) - March 2018 (African Mood) - August 2018 (Medieval City) - November 2019 - Heartbeat of the Mother City - February 2019 (African Mood) - OSNER GALLERY PRIVATE COLLECTION - July 2019 - (Abandoned - African Mood - Majestic Panoramic - Arcane) OSNER GALLERY PRIVATE COLLECTION - November 2019 (Reverie - Candy Girls - African Queen)