Michael Meyersfeld’s staged life

Fresh after winning another major award, Michael Meyersfeld is due to exhibit his new work in Johannesburg.

Michael Meyersfeld’s gold awarded entry for the 2010 AOP Photographers Awards
JOHANNEBURG — Michael Meyersfeld, a
prominent South African advertising photographer who last month received a gold award at the 2010 AOP Photographers Awards, is due to present an exhibition of new work at Obert Contemporary in Johannesburg.

Meyersfeld, whose work was included on the exhibition 1910-2010: Pierneef to Gugulective at Iziko South African National Gallery, cultivated an interest in the craft early on, at age six making black and white photos with a Brownie camera. Much like David Goldblatt, family influence steered him into a commerce degree at Wits, followed by a professional career in the family steel merchandising business, its sale allowing him to pursue his own interests.
A self-taught photographer, Meyersfeld’s commercial work is noted for its technical sophistication, particularly in the field of lighting and digital post-production, and has routinely been awarded internationally. Accomplished across a range of specialisations, notably still life and portraiture, his personal work is marked by a romantic formalism that sometimes echoes the lushness and restraint of Erwin Blumenfeld. Meyersfeld is, however, not a traditional modernist. The photographer’s burgeoning portfolio of colour nudes is illustrative: less formalistically applied, Meyersfeld uses the genre to record and archive defined social groupings, sometimes lightly commenting on post-apartheid social tensions.
In 2003 he published, Gaze, an extensive visual archive of South Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Photographed in studio, without props, contributing essayist Edwin Cameron, a Constitutional Court justice and the first senior South African
official to state publicly that he was living with HIV/AIDS, described the
project’s achievement as not only artistic but political. (Cameron also noted
the book’s lack of racial diversity, a lacuna corrected through the work of Zanele Muholi and Sabelo Mlangeni.)
Recent projects, such as his 2007 portraits of 12 naked men shot in found locations across Johannesburg, attempted to fashion social critique using commercial techniques, with mixed outcome.
For an online preview of Meyersfeld’s latest body fo work, titled Life Staged, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhbSuoMhLnI
Michael Meyerveld invite