The Photographers of Modern Life
“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world—impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not—to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.”
Unlike other visual arts, the sine qua non of photography is that you have to be there. Photography demands presence, and wanderlust is not only a common affliction of photographers, but necessary for its practice. Wanderlust doesn’t have to be grand trips to exotic locations, however. "Travel” for a photographer is better thought of as any space in which the photographer works.
Creativity exists at the crossroads of conscious action and surreal thought. We create art when we've placed ourselves in a place which not only matches our surreal thoughts, but allows us to capture them. The artists at Apogeo Photos practice being a Photographer of Modern Life, attentive to the fundamental concept that the world around us at any given moment is beautiful, and worthy of observation.
These values were elevated to the status of an approach to literary criticism in the essays of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, and Walter Benjamin, among others. To describe the approach, these authors used the term flâneur. The word is French, and means, roughly, "stroller" or "lounger." Being a flâneur is a state of physical behavior matched to a philosophical attitude. In his essay, "The Painter of Modern Life" (to the title of which we pay homage), Baudelaire used an illustrator, to whom he referred as Mr. G., to describe the philosophy and approach of the flâneur:
— Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life
We hope you agree that this selection of images reflects Baudelaire's conception.