Ronald Dick lives and works as a photographer and artist in London and Berlin, where he masterfully unifies all of his disciplines. He’s always been interested in peripheries – edges, borders, subcultures – that he summarizes under the themes of mysticism and weltschmerz.He’s not interested in stagnation and repetition, he beckons the viewer, and himself, time and again to join in the adventure of art.
- * 1972, lives and works in London and Berlin
- M.A. / B.A. Sociology, South Bank University, London Publications: Forever and Ever, self-published artist book, 1995
- The Art of Fashion Photography (collector’s edition), Prestel, Munich 2014; Naomi Campbell (collector’s edition), Taschen Verlag, Berlin 2016
“Nostalgic Memory” (mit Christophe Szpajdel), Little Krimminals 2, Berlin 2011
“Emotion”, Proud Galleries, London 2004
“Neue Deutsche Fotografie”, Praterinsel, München 2002
“I practice photography as a form of escapism. I photograph what happens in the background, without ever arriving there.“
You work as a fashion photographer, create art and founded your own publishing house. How do you bring it all together?
It’s not confusing for me to express myself in many different artistic forms. I’m more of a collector. Collecting is an ancient, but very intense, affair. It’s about expressing or bringing things together, that the world is chaos. I divide this chaos into rectangles. Chaos and rectangles are the only constants that lend the work a serial character. It doesn’t matter where the images come from. The same things happen everywhere.
What are you working on?
Among other things, a book with images from Hiroshima. However, it doesn’t show what it looks like there. My opinion is that photography is unable to achieve this. I don’t believe that photography can reflect reality. What’s interesting about photography for me is what happens between the images. Hiroshima isn’t the theme of the book, rather a metaphor.
Where or how do you shoot?
I go places I don’t know. In the past, I would take the bus through London to the last station, get lost there and photograph it.
I learned the technical aspect of photography in my youth. But I can also always disengage and free myself from it. Just as I don’t make books on self-imposed themes, I don’t want to always use techniques in the same way.
What’s behind your Phantasia photograph?
I did a freelance job in Berlin in 2012 for a Swiss newspaper. At the time, it was being said that the world would end. It was also really cold – and I had to go out every day and take these pictures, talk to people and so on. I like approaching people. Especially right before the Apocalypse.
It doesn’t matter where the works were shot. I photographed the blue stone on vacation and I know exactly where. But it’s not about that, rather, it’s about the context in which I present this work. My publishing house is, by the way, named Weltschmerz Publishing.
Is art for everyone?
I think it’s quite important to reach a lot of people. That’s why I’m happy working for magazines. Because the images are mass-produced in different contexts and are thus freely available. My greatest goal was always that kids would rip my images out of magazines and hang them over their beds. Just as I used to do.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a photographer?
My father studied photography and always discouraged me. I used to be a drummer in a Thrash Metal band. What’s nice about music is that you’re usually making it with people that you know. When I moved to England at age 17, I didn’t know anyone there and that’s probably why I took up photography. Through photography, I could live my life just about the way I wanted. After Thrash Metal, I immediately got into rave culture.
What is your idea of a good image motif?
I practice photography as a form of escapism. I photograph what happens in the background, without ever arriving there.”
Is there any advice you would pass on to others?
A picture is far from being abstract, just because one doesn’t recognize anything in it.