In recent years, the Viennese photographer Manfred Baumann has increased in influence. His passion for photography began at ten, when his grandfather gave him his first camera, a Praktika. His grandfather, who himself worked as a photographer, became Manfred’s mentor as he shot landscapes and the embers of a new passion began to burn. But the path to recognition is not easy. After studies in business management, Manfred worked as an assistant to an Austrian photographer. At first he mainly focused on artistic nude photography, an intense desire to portray the sublime in human form. His ambition is to break from convention. According to him, a photograph taken in a perfectly technical way is not necessarily a good photograph.
He cherishes the importance of arousing desire in the viewer, of revealing new stories and inscribing personal narratives. When the viewer observes an image, they must be able to find something new each time they look. Adams and Newton have already highlighted this, but Manfred follows the masters in this philosophy. Manfred is adept at presenting the erotic in women, focusing on their charisma and beauty. Each piece exudes an erotic tension that envelops the viewer in a tactile experience, almost tangible, inviting the viewer into the vision. For several years, Baumann had devoted his attention to portraiture: Roger Moore, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, or Sylvester Stallone. But as with his predecessor Helmut Newton, Manfred now casts his artistic net across a wide range of subjects: the nude, the portrait of celebrities and landscape.
What type of photography do you do?
All of my photos have a soul and should tell the viewer a story. A good photographer is a visual person and takes the world in with the eyes. A technically perfect shot may not mean that it will be a good image!
Which are your main influences in terms of art , music, literature and cinema?
I was influenced by a biography of Woody Allen and photographs of Ansel Adams, Helmut Newton, Alfred Eisenstaedt.
What is a good image for you?
If the viewer looks at the photo for more than five seconds and it arouses his fantasy.
How do you choose a good image?
The subjects to photograph arise a long time before the shootings in my head, and everything is well-prepared on set with all the details. Work is then very effective and you don’t need so long on set or have to select too many photos, if you know beforehand what you want to tell the viewer.
You shoot portraits, nudes, and landscapes. What’s your favourite subject?
I have no preference, as for me all the themes are very important. I like to travel around the world, being alone with my wife Nelly on the road and shooting my landscape photos. I also like nude photography, because the eroticism is something beautiful to me and it’s with this subject that I became known. Nude photography is a big part of my life. And also I like to shoot people and celebrities, because I like to talk with them and I really enjoy switching between the different worlds.
- Meet Manfred Baumann in Normal Magazine issue 3 -