When you look at a building you see just that; a building. So isn’t amazing when you find certain characters on Instagram who see the world – and architecture, in particular – a lot differently than you ever had? We have that epiphany all too often and we had it again when we stumbled across the work of Balazs Csizik – the Hungarian photographer who combines the visual language of both graphic design and photography to study the meeting points of constructivist and suprematism art and minimalist urban photography. Sounds good, right? This is how he does it…
Senior Art Director, Fine art photographer
Canon EOS 6D
I always been a big fan of contemporary architecture and photography, and I bought a DSLR and found that I can mix them with graphic design and a bit of abstraction – and that's become my artist playground. My earliest memory of photography, however, comes from an old analogue RICOH 35EFS that I had when I was 5 years old. I got it from my mother and I remember taking photographs of ladybirds with it. Now that camera is hanging on the wall above my bed.
I'm totally in love with raw materials; concrete house blocks in the urban area or in the nature. I'm always on the hunt to find peaceful "monoliths" in our world.
My favourite locations cross the world include the big European cities like Budapest, Berlin, Paris. Anywhere I go, I try to find the real localities to capture.
My visual concepts are strongly influenced by modern architecture particularly Brutalism - Marcel Breuer, Erno Goldfinger, Le Corbusier, Chamberlin and mostly the unnamed heroes in Eastern Europe - alongside various art forms like suprematism and constructivism including Moholy-Nagy, Kandinszkij, Malevich etc.
In my work I combine the visual language of graphic design and photography. We can find similar elements in both of them, focusing on basic geometric forms, such as squares, circles and diagonal lines. I found that these art compositions are reconstructable in everyday urban landscapes - in architecture as well in a two dimensional graphic form. I find a real interest in raw materials, concrete, and wood, everything that reduces the elements to a minimalist state like graphic design. That's why I investigate architecture so closely, really.
For me it's The Breuer Building in New York City. Its iconic facades and inner lightning is so timeless and raw. I'm also really proud of Marcel Breuer's Hungarian roots, and it's a big honour that a contemporary gallery like MET renamed his building to Met Breuer in the past years.
I think it’s important to examine the local urban area of the specific building to make additional images for a series. I mean, you can only show the real face of a building if you show it in that real local urban area. That’s why I always want to put in some natural elements, or a sign of humanity in my pictures. It's also an interesting way to show your own feelings of a building, to rebuild it with your vision. It works the best if you respect the architect and want to pay homage to them.
I always make field trips before a photoshoot. Sometimes I walk several kilometres and take snapshots with my mobile phone. I also use Google earth to find something unique - it's always an interesting way to extend your possibilities.
The big sand pile is my favourite picture, for sure. It has a bit of fine art touch, that big sand pile and a minimalistic view of a flat. It's really popular despite the fact that it does not have a lot of colours or eye-candy elements.
I can’t give you just one, it’ll have to be two. One for sure is Kevin Krautgartner’s inspiring drone shots and the second has to be Ying Tin’s fantastic fairy-like minimal winter wonderlands.
Copied. I think that everybody should find their own pleasure in photography, we shouldn't copy anybody just for success. Photography is fun, and it should be inspiring for yourself. And, one last thing, please don't use ultrahdr tools…
Want to see more in the series? Check out our exclusive interview with independent photographer and one of Balazs’ favourite Instagram accounts, @Natalie_Santafe.
We'll keep you up to date.