Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Alex & Me – James Pfaff

Jun 23, 2018 - Alan Eglinton

For my third post, here are some extracts from the project Alex & Me by Scottish visual artist James Pfaff. I very much like James’ great versatility as an artist. If you’re in Scotland, the show of Alex & Me is on until July 1st at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow.


James Pfaff’s work is chiefly concerned with the documentation and reconstruction of his own life and universe, a personal essay on the human condition. Drawing on his extensive photographic archive and personal journals, he expresses himself principally through the medium of photography, often later combining his images with the abstract form, paint, collage and the written word in contemporary response. The series Alex & Me (1998) can be considered as a point of departure.


From curator Francesca Seravalle – Alex & Me is an artistic re-appropriation of a personal archive, a tribute to an important love, made and broken on a road trip in the late summer of ’98 through North America, from Toronto to New Orleans and then back north to New York.


For Pfaff, the creative process is both self-analysis and an emotional experience. In his work he gives shape and colour to his memories, as fluid materials that come from the photographs and acquire a second life with the distance of time. Pfaff’s archival materials become, in this way, the palette he draws from, and the source of his inspiration for experimenting with different interventions in photography. Photography is conceived as the starting point for exploring memory, a process accomplished, in the end, by painting and writing.