Ten Years in Pictures, Paul Solberg’s fifth photographic compendium, is a catalogue of ethnographic encounters with a startling diversity of artistic topography; drawing together sepia sailors, haunted soldiers, priests, Wild West horses, flower petals and Ai Weiwei that have gathered together in his lens across the years.
From Vietnam to Cairo to Sicily to Jordan, the book reads as a world portrait where the parts make up the whole but each part stands alone with a poetic, poignant, potency. Solberg hones in on the intricacies in his anthropological portraits; choosing to capture the subtler details of expression of culture and humanity. Instead of cataloguing these subjects with a flat, documentary, objectivity, he infuses these details with a joy, a poignancy and a simple reflectiveness. Through his photographs, we see “a world in which Solberg lives, and wishes we could all live”. There is a sense of standing in the shoes of Solberg when looking at his photographs; seeing the subject through not only his lens, but his eyes; with a universal awe and wonder. The Moholy—Nagy-new-vision approach reframes his scenes and subjects from an alternative angle; encouraging us too to look on anew and afresh with, and through his hungry, curious eyes. Life and art bleed, indeed - previous to his prestigious photographic publishings in Interview, the Wall Street Journal, Conde Nast Traveler, and CNN Travel, Solberg studied anthropology at university in South Africa before travelling extensively throughout South Africa, South America and Asia. These early formative experiences fostered his fascination for the forms of the world, and the influence is evident throughout.
Ten Years in Pictures. © Paul Solberg