Born in the German countryside outside Frankfurt, Bennie Julian Gay began his career working with diverse visual media while at art school. These exploratory years led Gay to form a photographic practice that embodies a sensual tranquility. His most recent work explores the architecture of image making.
Aside from a camera, what is a photographer’s most valuable tool?
A nuanced understanding of communication principles and how the things surrounding us interrelate. That at least helps me make a better gut decision later on.
Who inspired you to pursue photography?
He probably doesn’t know this, and I am not even sure if he remembers me or still photographs himself: Stefan Steins, a photographer that I knew through an online forum. I saw his black and white small format scans online and thought they had the most beautiful quality. I used to be always heavily driven by formally-esthetical aspects of a medium, and probably still am.
When did you become a photographer?
I just started applying this label about two years ago to describe me and my profession. During my studies, I would work with all different kinds of media, and by introducing myself as a “photographer” to others, I thought that people had a rather limited perception of me and what I am doing. I see things a bit different now, even though interests from back then still inform my photographic practice.
What is the responsibility of a photographer to their audience?
Making people see the world as they cannot see it themselves.