Jónatan Grétarsson (born 1979) finished his photographers rights ‘Sveinspróf’ from the Reykjavik Technical College in 2002 then he moved to America to study at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Character studies by
Portraits too can turn into works of art: pure political art and icons. It was Andy Warhol who took black-and-white pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, Mao and Beuys and turned them into icons. The character studies of Jónatan Grétarsson (b. 1979) are full of nostalgia and of references to the history of photography in the twentieth century. They are not unlike the material that Andy used. Jónatan documents Icelandic artists, some of whom are familiar, in color, from the world of Icelandic glamor magazines. Color photography is great for glamor magazines. But a black-and-white photograph can turn into an enduring icon. Jónatan's hard, direct light marks out his subjects and pulls on them so that they seem to be coming out to meet the viewer. The view of them is forbidding - no smile, faded color, regret and nostalgia. “Where did the days of your life lose their color, and the poems that rushed from dream to dream through your blood,” as the poet Jóhann Jónsson wrote. Jónatan has developed his documentary method into a high art. His photographs' presence is such that the viewer is brought into the journey and tempted to go through the mirror into that other reality which is full of symbols, icons which have gotten stuck in the upside-down inner world. It is no easy task to come back, so powerful is the experience. We really do see with our minds.
Text by Guðmundur Oddur Magnússon
Portræt Nu! Mikkeli Art Museum, Mikkeli (Finland) 2011
Portræt Nu! Akureyri Kunstmuseum (Iceland) 2010
Portræt Nu! Norsk Folkemuseum (Norge) 2010
Spegilsýnir Duushús Keflavík, Iceland 2010
Portræt Nu! Ljungbergmuseet (Sweden) 2009-10
Portræt Nu! Fredriksborg Slot (Denmark) 2009
Icelandic Artists, Hafnarborg, Iceland 2009
Andlit, Portraits of Icelandic Artists, 2010
Queens / Artists
Angels / Stages
Scapes / BDSM
And the Kid
Jónatan Grétarsson is among semifinalists in the Hasselblad Masters Award 2012 which are the most prestigious awards in the industry, celebrating the best in both established and rising photographic talent.
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