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.

Timing and the ready made

Nov 28, 2018 - Alex Christopher Williams

Most of my photographs that I enjoy have some element of surprise to them. Up until this point in my artistic career, I had been photographing in the style of the street photographers I most admired; meaning being unseen and unheard. This was the way I found the unexpected, and it’s also the way I dealt with getting access to my subjects. It’s not that I was too shy to speak to anyone who I wanted to photograph; it was that I wanted a true meaningful expression and I only knew how to do that in the moment, 1/125th of a second at a time. With this work, I went back onto the tripod to slow everything down to consider everything I was doing as well as to work towards creating the unexpected, instead of just finding it.


After making this photograph, I was made aware of its similarities to The Dying Gaul, an ancient Roman sculpture. I had no knowledge of this sculpture before making this photograph. As it happened, the picture was made as we were fixing his bike. A slight exhale and a moment of hesitation caused him to lean back and wipe the sweat from his forehead. In excitement, I yelled that he must stay still as I ran to my studio to grab my camera. It was effortless. I pulled the bike out of the frame and suggested he turn his head a nod.


I think of this picture a lot when I’m deciding whether or not to make the picture. If I have jumped out of my shoes in excitement, then its probably worth it.