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.


Jul 20, 2019 - Milan Gies

Ecce homo- Behold the man. Self-reliance, independency, in a way ‘invulnerability’ are important values in our modern day society and that is reflected in the way we appreciate the human body: it should be healthy, young, fit, strong. Those are the images that we are usually confronted with. But how do we relate to people who aren’t able to come along, for example because they suffer from exclusion, poverty, addiction? Vulnerability has become an almost unbearable phenomenon in our achievement-oriented society. That raises the question: what is vulnerability still worth in our society? Does vulnerability mean weakness, or is this exactly where we find our common humanity? Are we really different from the people we consider to be vulnerable?


For this series, I followed men who have come to falter for several reasons and who are considered ‘unprofitable’ by society. I try to show them in all of their humanity and complexity; their strength, vulnerability, suffering, beauty and grace. I worked intensively with these people, who visited me very often and spent a lot of time in my studio. This way, my studio became part of their daily lives and this allowed me to immerse myself in their world. This method shows a relation with the work of Antoine d’Agata, also one of my sources of inspiration. Furthermore, this is a point in my career where I decided to add some colour to my images, to create a counterpoint to the rawness of them.