Into the woods

Jörg Marx turned his attention to photo-journalism meanwhile working in war zones and disaster areas. In his collection Dogscapes, he explores the interaction between landscape and dog.


Into the woods

Once upon a time, the last thing you would expect from Bavarian-based photographer Jörg Marx was a successful career in the art world, as the keen pupil was initially more attuned to life at the other end of the spectrum. Stints studying sociology, psychology, law, nursing and disaster relief are just a few areas where Marx tried his hand.

Upon finishing university he branched into a more creative career as a journalist. As the work progressed, it became harder and harder to tell the stories without a few snaps to complement the words. Says the ever-thoughtful Marx on the power of pictures, “writing is my talent although I don’t like making many words. The important things are beyond language.” He goes on. “I was first seriously engaged with photography when I was working in war zones and disaster areas. There I faced a lot of violence, death and suffering. You can’t describe in words what happened there around you and inside you.”

Inspired primarily by other photographers, the work is nonetheless all his own. And while his images are at first glance dark and slightly eerie, this is merely a reflection of his surroundings. Despite their idyllic present, the fields in his backyard tell tales of a gruesome past, of soldiers dying and Nazi concentration sub camps, where only the silent gaze of the trees remained. He says, “I’m interested in the places where I live. The landscape here is not spectacular but that is precisely the challenge—to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.” When pressed on the subject matter he continues. “In a way, the photo tells you what you see, or in general, how you see the world. Obviously I see the world quite dark, but dark does not mean depressing. What other people see in my photos is another question.”

His recent photographic collection Dogscapes, a personal project he has been pursuing for several years, is no less reflective. Centered around his eight-year-old schnauzer Benni, the shots aim to emulate the principles seen in works by the likes of William Turner; focusing on the interaction between the natural landscape and the dog, and encapsulating the motions and attitudes of Benni amongst his vast surroundings. Marx has also created Black Dog, a series of black and white photographs centered around Benni’s joy of discovery but still maintaining his signature style. With a portfolio as intelligent and considered as the man himself, we know Jörg Marx won’t be leaving the forest or the art world any time soon.

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