Jock Sturges, Clarice; Montalivet, France, 2005, 20×24, digital pigment print on fiber paper, Edition of 25, 2/25, signed, numbered, and dated.<7small>
Opinions are divided when it comes to Jock Sturges, at least in the US. Some value him as a photographer who can portray children, adolescents and grown-ups in a very aesthetic way, others see him as portraying child pornography. To classify Jock Sturges as either one or the other, puts him right in the middle of the debate between the liberales and the religious fundamentalists of the US, a group in its peak in the 1990s. Back then the FBI raided his home, confiscated his photographs and his camera equipment. Even though it sounds very dramatic, these events can be attributed to religious and judicial norms in the US at that time. Freedom of expression in the arts emerged as the winner and one thing was made abundantly clear; the scale of the social environment is long and nudity and adolescence have many different meanings to many different people. In Europe, Jock Sturges is simply an extraordinary photographer and his controversy has heightened his fame and left his pieces highly sought after on both sides of the Atlantic. After things have calmed down, one question still remains: Why are his photographs so highly sought after? What is the basis of the fascination with him? His photographs reach much farther than a pure image on paper. They clearly show the relationship between Jock Sturges the photographer and Eva, Marine, Vanessa, Thomas and all the other families that have been photographed by him. „I am fond of saying, that 99 percent of my time as a photographer is invested in the people and personal relationships that make possible the one percent of time I spend actually making the pictures”, he says.
Every day we see thousand of pictures in ads and magazines that lack a relationship between the photographer and the model depicted in those photographs. Contemporary photography is said to be shrouded in an aura of chilled emotions. But then a photographer like Jock Sturges comes along, a photographer who depicts something that still prevails, even within the never ending strive for success and money: some happiness and joy at the end of the tunnel. Human relationships, conviction, and faith are timeless. Jock Sturges’ photographs fascinate so many people because their true meaning is just the beginning that pulls the beholder towards something else, some sort of emotion. An emotion that can hardly be put into words, but is the deepest longing of all of us.
The Scalo|Guye Gallery in West Hollywood is a new representation of Jock Sturges. Co-curated by Walter Keller the first show for Jock Sturges ending at November 10th consists of color photographs he took during the last years mostly in France. Prices range from $1,200 (16×20 color, edition of 40) to $10,000 (20 x 24, b/w, edition of 40), the price for the photograph above is $3,600.
Scalo|Guye Gallery, 302 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, Monday – Saturday 11am – 7pm