Photography, art in general, is close to freedom only when we
manage to bring it to our innermost being. The more I photograph
the more I know myself. Photography is not a matter of form for me,
I am interested in it's content. The content should not necessarily
be revelation - or even worse, didacticism. Im not a photographer
from Yosemite ParkI dont fucking care about the technical
celebration. Photography for me is not a matter of tonal range. For
me it is instinct, the ability to capture fragments, or being able
to move through the images with my own state of mind.
Didactic photography is terribly boring. My photography doesnt
want to be reassuring. I live in a Mexican barrio, why should I
photograph sunsets and flowers? I do photograph flowers, but even
these are through a dark eyeso that I find les fleurs du mal.My
photography is not supposed to look beautiful. Im not even
interested in the compositionI feel indeed that I must improve on
this I want to be dirtier. The image is the thing that matters. The
process is not important, but the idea - that is crucial. I smile
mockingly when someone talks about originality. What is
originality? Yet another portrait is original? A new shot in the
street? Everything is reinterpretation. Everything is reproduction
in photography. Decoding is the key. Or, if you prefer, the filter.
The photographer through his experience and his cultural heritage
is that filter. SureI am not talking about technique. Thats a
concept that I leave to monkeys with a camera, or the ghost of
I think Charles Bukowski is more important for me than Henri
Cartier-Bresson. There are no rules for the visual inspiration.
Even if someone is always trying to create them. There is no
reality in photography. There may be realism, but not reality. I
can only try to collect portions, fragments of reality. It is
through this consciousness that I create images. The image of an
image is another image. Rewritten, regenerated, renewed. A new
image. A new fragment of reality.
Alex Coghe 2013
FOREWORD BY MICHAEL ERNEST SWEET
Immediately, when we look at photographs by Alex Coghe we think
of Daido Moriyama, and Shomei Tomatsu before him. Clearly, Coghe
has studied this school of Japanese photography and has acquired
the aesthetic. Like Moriyama and Tomatsu, Coghe is on a quest to
discover the reality around him; to untangle our world and then
blur it all out again.
When we study these photographs we see both reality and the
unreal all at once. The very first image in this book is of a man
entering an elevated subway - a few pages later, another man
leaving one - what could be more real, more familiar? At the same
time, when we look at these images our mind wants to wander from
that reality. We know what we are looking at, and yet, we are
looking at something unusual, something abstract also. This is the
very appeal that is found in the photographs throughout Nasty.
But we don't only see the Japanese photographers at work in
Coghe's photographs, we are also reminded of the banality of
Eggleston's work and of the fragments of Mark Cohen's photography.
At first glimpse, some people may accuse Coghe of merely copying,
but of course that is not what is at play. Coghe does not copy, he
engages, he participates in a conversation between the generations
of photographers, he adds to that conversation and does so in a way
so as not to be forgotten. This, of course, is the purest form of
photographic innovation - informed but unique, familiar but
Some of the images in this book are so fragmented and full of
grit and grain that only the wildest of imaginations might
construct definite meaning from their abstractions. This is not a
negative. Photography has every right to be engaged in the
abstract, it is part and parcel to the very art of constructing an
image. Coghe employs this masterfully throughout this volume taking
us on a wild roller coaster of detachment and even daydreaming
before snapping us harshly back to reality over and over again.
It's thrilling. It's exhilarating. It's Nasty.
As an avid collector of the likes of Moriyama and Cohen, as well
as a photographer from this very school myself, I welcome Coghe's
work into the contemporary photographic world with open arms. The
photographs between these covers deserve not only to be indeed
between these very covers, but also among the finest collections of
contemporary books of photography. Alex Coghe's work will endure.
It is dark, but honest. It is blurred, but real. It is fragmented,
Nasty is a clear departure from the sameness that plagues
contemporary photography. I am tired of all the perfect
photographs. Technical perfection is greatly overrated and nothing
more than merely a product of the abundance of technology now at
our disposal as photographers. But what of the subject matter or
the larger narrative? These fundamentals are lost on too many of
the emerging photographers at work today. We see an endless stream
of "perfect photographs", but they lack story, they lack fresh
subject matter, and they lack true innovation - they are void of
voice. This is not so with Nasty. This volume of photography not
only speaks, it adds something new. And something new, when it
comes to art, is the ultimate achievement.
Michael Ernest Sweet New York, New York
If your street photographs arent good enough, youre not living
the street enough.
I really hope this book will be an inspiration to get out and
take pictures in the street
Alex Coghe, 2014
All rights reserved - ALEX COGHE 2014
2014 STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - AN IDEA BY ALEX COGHE - ALL RIGHTS
2014, ALEX COGHE
Self publishing contact: [email protected] RIGHTS RESERVED.
This book contains material protected under International and
Federal Copyright Laws and
Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is
prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted
in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and
retrieval system without express written permission from the
author / publisher.
To my family and friends who support me. Thanks to you this
dream continue .