Since the early nineties Gursky has been working on large scale images, often from an elevated vantage point. Sites of commerce or intensely inhabited cityscapes are recurring subjects in his work.
He is drawn to large, man made anonymous spaces: office lobbies, high rise facades at nightime, stock exchanges.
The scale of his work is magnificent and the subject matter dizzying in it’s detail. The experience of standing in front of one of his images is almost overwhelming … too much for the brain or eye to register.
Here are two images from his Pyongyang series which demonstrate the usage of post-production techniques in his work - Gursky is increasingly ambitious in his painstaking digital re-touching and manipulation. The image Pyongyang IV is a composite of three different images: it’s impossible to achieve that degree of pinpoint sharpness unless you focus on the foreground, middle ground and background separately.
These images are wonderful examples of how he balances the beauty of pattern and colour with a dehumanized perspective. The result is a visual ambivalence, and an incisive commentary on contemporary global forces.