Matthias Frei is a neo-impressionist photographer. In his photographs, he uses light to foremost induce the mood and feeling of the scene as it presents itself to an actual witness of the moment. He moves between the genres of street, portrait and environment, always looking for this light, sometimes in addition to story and a strong composition, using a black and white (monochrome) Leica camera only.
Matthias Frei’s neo-impressionist vision in photography includes an aesthetically strong image, with a combination of traditional elements contributing. Foremost, the quality of light and shadows interacting. Then the composition in the picture, geometry and the expression of his subjects. The ultimate goal being, to emphasise and transmit the feeling of the actual moment and scene, even in an abstract way, showing its “true” character a human being present can sense, at the same time letting this image emerge as an own art entity.
Neo-Impressionism is a term coined by French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886 to describe an art movement founded by Georges Seurat. Seurat’s greatest masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, marked the beginning of this movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants (Salon des Indépendants) in Paris.
Matthias Frei’s photography is influenced by the works of Man Ray (surrealist), Brassaï (impressionist, street), Arnold Newman (environmental portrait), Cartier-Bresson (street), Julius Shulman (architecture), Horst P. Horst (fashion), Albert Watson (photographer in fashion), Annie Leibovitz (surreal portrait), Brigitte Lacombe (movie sets and film stars) and other contemporary artists.
His life as a photographer and artist is shared with one as an entrepreneur and angel investor in business correlated to innovation, high-tech and imaging, but equally combined with creativity, taking both seriously as part of a diverse and inspiring life as a “renaissance man”.
Matthias Frei is the major angel investor and visionary behind the Californian photo competition company I SHOT IT Inc. (founder Hartmut Hennige & co-owner Dr. Andreas Kaufmann of Leica Camera), where he invented the company’s vision and mission statement, that “amateurs are as good as professionals”.
The artist grew up in Switzerland and the United States, is closely related to the Leica photo community and a founding member of the Spooky Distance Photographers Group. He lives in Switzerland.
Photo Courtesy of E.S.