How on EARTH have I never heard of him before?
Of course, Diane Arbus was influenced by him, and any Arbus fan can see the connection–the intensity of the subject’s gaze, humanity captured in a moment within uncomplicated, spartan surroundings.
Sander was German, born to a craftsman working as a miner. He first learned the craft of photography and printing by assisting a photographer working for a mining company. His archives include over 40,000 images–impressive, by any standard.
Sander aimed to capture a cross-section of the population he lived amongst. His work was largely constrained under the Nazi regime, and his portrait series, Face of our Time, published in 1929, was seized and the plates destroyed. However, he was able to save most of his negatives.
Lucky us, as his studio was also destroyed in a 1944 bombing raid.
August Sander rocked my world this week.