Ivars Gravlejs  – Early Works


Photographer’s early works are always a fascinating sights to be seen; Erik Prasetya’s Mudik, David Alan Harvey’s story about Liggins family and William Eggleston’s before color. Those early works would serve as a reference in to understand the background on why the photographer achieve a certain style or approach in photography.

On the opposite end, there is Ivars Gravlejs.

The book-that I will refer as Early Works from hereon-is published by Mack and graciously rented to me by the good people on Unobtainium. The Early Works contains the elements that serve as a reference however instead of taking a look during the period where Ivars’ works started to get matured, this one features the one that Ivars did when he was 11 years old.

The book is divided into several chapters namely; experiments, montage, conceptual?, pop art, performances, actions, fight and my teachers. Almost all photographs in the book had some sort of explanations, however the only sections that caught my attention are performances and fights.

While other chapters like experiment, conceptual? or pop art tried to show his, well, experiment side, it only at performance Ivars show how he tried to become the subject of his photographs with costumes and characters. Lost tourist, stupid grandma, dead drunk and cowboy are the character that he wanted to portray, creating a satirical portrayal of the adults in Latvia that he encounter.

In Fight, Ivars tried to analysed, what impact the camera has among his peers. He found out that his peers started to act out when they know that the camera is present to record their action, not only the bully against the weaker ones but the opposite happens as well. I wish the caption in this chapter were elaborated and if possible whether Ivars were ever become a subject of the fight as well.

If I were to compare this book with other early works, I’d say that there are not much differences. It truly serve its purpose as references, if not an interesting satire work by an 11 year old who pretended to be a dead drunk.

Bottom line: Quirky satirical photo scrapbook by an 11 year old.

Photography: 4

Concept of Book: 3

Photography – Edit/sequence: 3

Production quality: 3

I am using the cphmag rating scale which you refer to here

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