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ABOUT WOJTEK STARK
Wojtek Stark, born 1973 in Poland, is currently a German based photographer specializing in street and portrait photography. Wojtek's photographs are often of strong emotional character and exemplify the unvarnished realities and diversities of human life. The various different personalities Wojtek has captured in his portraits are mostly directing the attention back to the observer. Often displayed in an almost in-person and intimately enchanting close up perspective, Wojtek’s work appropriately shows each individual, uniquely and exquisitely. The array of colors and sometimes almost fantastical lighting used are other striking attributes of Wojtek’s work. In both, telling an intimate story and wanting his photographs to feel as life like and interactive as possible, Wojtek’s beautiful imagery often closely resembles that of fine art paintings.
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Wojtek first garnered his artistic expression through his passion of fine art painting. From the inception of his artistic work as a painter Wojtek has focused on the characteristics and personalities conveyed though portraiture. Wojtek prolifically studied various sculpting arts in Germany before transitioning into digital photography as his primary and preferred medium of expression. Using this as a basis to express his creativity it has transferred seamlessly into Wojtek’s current work as a photographer. Very quickly photography became Wojtek's love and thus main means of employment as he continued developing his photographic pursuits throughout the years. Wojtek has developed his exceptional style as a photographer through avidly practicing his unique street portraiture over the past 3 years. Wojtek has also garnered thorough experience as an educator alongside his photography, sculpting and another visual arts. Wojtek’s portraits are mostly the result of organic social interactions experienced in the moment the photograph is captured. This approach to photography can be closely attributed to the comfortability Wojtek has found in personable communication through over 20 years of educational experience.
Pictured below: Wojtek Stark driving a “Hindustan Ambassador”, a classic car found all throughout India and often used by government officials, as seen in this picture.
Within India, amongst daily living, the ability to see something unique in a moments notice is far more common and often a more inviting experience than that found throughout the west. The ease by which one is able to meet new and interesting people who are comfortable sharing their personalities as they are with you taking their photo is very high. For a portrait photographer like Wojtek Stark, this is, perhaps, the most optimal of conditions for organic street photography to be explored and shared. An important aspect for Wojtek in his work is to properly and honorably show the diversities of each individual’s ethnicity and their unique societal practices. India has proved itself the world’s primer stage for documenting humanity and people’s true nature. From it’s vastly diverse wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and lively streets, to it’s beautiful and unique architecture full of color and a vibrancy found nowhere else, India is one country where any photographer can find their place. Anyone who steps foot into and explores India’s vast lands will find their heart eternally bound to it’s people and beauty. For Wojtek, capturing the beautiful nature of India’s people and their land is one way to share this eternal connection with others.
A newly found love for India was sparked in March of 2015 during Wojtek's first visit to Mumbai and has remained dearly in his heart since. From his first arrival and through many since these moments of India’s vast diversity and unique cultural expressions has captured Wojtek’s heart in an irreversible way. Wojtek has accumulated the equivalent of nearly one year travelling in India since 2015, divided into 10 individual journeys, having visited 19 states throughout India this far and continuing to explore other states as his journey continues. For Wojtek there is no greater desire for his travels than to share his personal experiences and capturing the heart and character of India and it’s people. Currently scheduled for release in the summer of 2020 is an illustrative book chronicling Wojtek’s work and experiences throughout India over his 5 years of travel.
Wojtek with two Elephant keepers at Amber Fort near Jaipur. Depicted here, the elephants are involved in a daily transportation service for tourists to be guided around the fortress. Although the living and working conditions of these Elephants are protected under an Indian animal rights organization one can wonder, for what purpose does such an act serve the Elephant? They would not find such living and work conditions in their natural habitat.
The marks found across the left hand side of this bus is consequence of the seemingly half hazard driving conditions on almost unbearable roads in the Arunachal Pradesh region. More stories and upcoming events similar to the ones seen in these photos will be added to Wojtek’s future traveling blog, coming soon.
Wojtek has amassed experiences above expectation in every one of his 10 individual journeys through India. After finding such variety and difference with each experience, Wojtek has concluded: “It is not always easy to capture the unique experiences one may have on the streets of India, however, it ‘is’ possible. Once one is successful in perfectly capturing their own experience as ‘they’ see the moment, the reward received is a memory which nothing can erase and will last a lifetime". Wojtek’s more public humanitarian work in photography is a more recent venture having begun over two years ago. Using only Instagram As his platform for distribution Wojtek has already garnered the public attention of multiple magazines. Wojtek’s images were recently published in an issue of, CHIIZ (vol. 12, March 2018 edition), a magazine dedicated to portrait photography.
Written by Wojtek Stark, 16.07.2018