The worldwide recognition he has received attests to the tremendous impact of his work. This Austrian photographer, who has been shooting primarily, though not exclusively, in black and white for over 40 years, captures surreal moments in his photos. Reductions and overexposures help him discover special elements and draw both technical and substantive contrasts between the spectacular and the banal. His subjects—everything from peaceful, expansive Icelandic landscapes that look like paintings to jets coming in for a landing just above people’s heads—fascinate the viewer. Even more astoundingly, all of these contrasting facets of nature and technology bear Hoflehner’s distinct stamp. No matter what topic Hoflehner is skillfully weaving a photographic narrative around, his work exudes incredible serenity and focus. Maybe that’s what we find so compelling. Whether it’s a photo of a New York skyline or a Malaysian tea plantation, his images have a soothing, contemplative effect on the viewer, although there is also a painful undertone of transience and social criticism.
Josef Hoflehner was born in Wels, Austria in 1955. He got his first camera at the age of twenty and began shooting and experimenting with photography. His photos of landscapes, architecture, and objects are highly sought after both in Europe and around the world, and are part of many prestigious private, institutional, and public collections.