Wild-growing plants on sidewalks, dumped equipment, discarded objects, broken fences, rubbish – these are the elements of found buildups on the streets of the metropoles of our planet; illuminated by the theatrical light of the photographer. The nocturnal scenes of Michael Vahrenwald appear to be deserted, like empty stages, in contrast to the botanical still lives of the Dutch painter Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1619-1678) which are the initial reference for this project. In the images of van Schrieck, there is bad and good in contest between the growth in the guise of snakes, martens, butterflies and other creatures. While these animalian elements are absent from the tableaus of Vahrenwald, his depicted microcosms in New York, Dubai, Tokyo and Berlin are also the showplaces of violence within the internationally networked real estate markets. They are the dark corners of the glistening cities, mundane as we all know them, appearing in a poetic but unerring light.
Michael Vahrenwald (1977) holds an MFA in photography from Yale University and he is associate professor for photography at the Hartford Art School, Connecticut, USA. He exhibits internationally and his work is part of several high-level collections as the one of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. He is also publishing photo books under the label “Roman Nvmerals”.