A first impression of an industrial estate gives you the feeling of seeing a lot of the same, but if you focus on the details you will see that there is a lot more to discover. Chris Fraikin creates - what he calls - 'Archtracts': minimalist extracts of architectural, industrial and urban objects. Thanks to his great sense of composition, supported by his graphic background, he knows how to convert simple, minimalist images into contemporary works of art that find their way to a variety of collectors around the world.
Chris Fraikin - Veenendaal XLI
Wow! Just when I thought I knew who the best minimalists are, I come across this guy! Definitely in that very, very thin layer at the very, very top. – Al Jackson
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Despite his age (born in 1958) Chris Fraikin from The Netherlands is still a newcomer to the art of photography. He was educated at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, where he studied graphic design in the seventies. He built a professional career for forty years in succession in the graphic, the IT and the music industry.
In 2014 he decided to focus more on photography and in search for a direction in photography that would attract him most. He attended workshops and made several photo tours as well in The Netherlands as abroad. Besides projects of all kinds, his current field of interest is what he calls ‘archtracts’: minimalistic extracts of architectural, industrial and urban objects. He mostly roams at industrial sites to discover the objects which are photographed in a contemplative way.
In his work you will clearly recognize his original graphic background. His words about his photography and other things are below:
I was sixteen years of age when I decided I seriously wanted to start photography. I took a loan of 10,000 Dutch guilders and bought a complete set for shooting and printing photos. As camera I choose a Canon A1 because at that time the Canon cameras were the only ones which could work with both aperture and shutter priority and even a complete programmed feature was available if you wanted to make use of it. For printing by myself I purchased a Durst M605 Colorprinter with a color analyzer and all the equipment you can imagine.
Soon I discovered printing in color was not as easy as I had in mind but I remained finishing my photos in black & white by myself for a long time.
Canon has always remained my favorite in the following years. At this moment I use a R5 mainly combined with the 16-35, the 24-70, 70-200 and 150-600 lenses,
I have specialized in concert photography for many years. I did that inter alia combined with organizing concert tours for talented foreign bands in the Netherlands and also worked for various music venues. But because the number of visitors at the venues dropped down more and more, and unknown also often appeared as unloved, the wages and compensation offered by the venues for these bands became so low that I started to feel myself very uncomfortable by picking up new bands for touring in The Netherlands under these conditions.
I then made the decision to stop booking acts and also stopped concert photography. I still wanted to keep shooting and again with a single type of photography and not a in a very wide variety of different genres.
First of all I ran into two restrictions: I was so conditioned to shoot on stages that I had no view of the big picture and the small details in the real world and besides that I had no idea what genres of photography would suit me most. I found my solution in taking part in a large number of workshops in various fields of photography and signing up for various photo trips abroad.
In 2015 – still in the middle of this process – I discovered which type of photography was attracting me most: shooting – mostly minimalist – photographing extracts of architectural objects in a contemplative way where the images have an architectural, industrial, urban or an abstract appeal. I decided to name this kind of work ‘archtracts’.
Most of my photos are self-contained and mainly shot at industrial sites or during short city tours at home and abroad. In addition to these self-contained architecture I also work in series like “A Touch Of White” and “Station To Station” which you will find on my website.
For the commercial publication of my work I have chosen to sell them through my own website where my work can be purchased in a limited edition of 8 pieces.
I was invited for a solo exhibition in Gouda, The Netherlands, participated in group exhibitions in Amsterdam, Italy and Portland, Oregon and was represented at the Miami and New York Art Weeks.
I feel honored by the attention I already received from third parties for my photography. GUP Magazine has selected me as one of the hundred photographers to show my work in the book New Photography 2016 while my work is also included in the Yearbook of Dutch Artists in 2016. Besides this I received a Moscow International Photo Award, have my work be seen all year on the covers and in the content of the Magazine Business Park and received an – on invitation only – portfolio presentation at the prestigious Lens Culture website in addition to the presentation in other media such as New Dawn Paper, PF and The Photo Phore.
So photographing for a long time already but a newcomer in contemporary art.“