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ARTHUR TRESS
[b. 1940] America-born Swedish photographer
Photography has an amazing ability to capture the fine detail of surface textures. But far too often these intricate patterns are loved by the photographer for their own sake. The richness of texture fascinates the eye and the photographer falls easy prey to such quickly-caught complexities. The designs mean nothing in themselves and are merely pictorially attractive abstractions. A central problem in contemporary photography is to bring about a wider significance in purely textural imagery. - Arthur Tress - [cited in: Creative Camera March 1968, p. 94]

The photographic image has great possibilities. The magical photograph attempts to go beyond the immediate context of the recorded experience into the realm of the indefinable. The photographer as magician is acutely aware of the multiplicity of associations submerged in the appearance of the objective world. - Arthur Tress

My urge to photograph is activated by an almost biological instinct for preservation from disorder. The camera is a mechanical apparatus that extends my natural ability and desire for meaningful organization. I need it to survive. - Arthur Tress

The photographic frame is no longer used as a documentary window into undisturbed private lives, but as a stage on which the subjects consciously direct themselves to bring forward hidden information that is not normally displayed on the surface. - Arthur Tress

Perhaps why so much of today’s photography doesn’t “grab us” or mean anything to our personal lives is that it fails to touch upon the hidden life of the imagination and fantasy, which is hungry for stimulation. - Arthur Tress

I believe it is the photographer’s function to reveal that which is concealed, even if it be repugnant to the majority, not merely to record what we see around us. - Arthur Tress

Photography is my method for defining the confusing world that rushes constantly toward me. It is my defensive attempt to reduce our daily chaos to a set of understandable images. - Arthur Tress

So much of today’s photography... fails to touch upon the hidden life of the imagination and fantasy which is hungry for stimulation. The documentary photographer supplies us with facts or drowns us in humanity, while the pictorialist, avant-garde, or conservative, pleases us with mere aesthetically correct compositions—but where are the photographs we can pray to, that will make us well again, or scare the hell out of us? - Arthur Tress

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