Selected works by Mikhael Subotzky

Mikhael Subotzky
Playing With Plastic, Toekomsrus, Beaufort West

2007

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

Image: 106 x 128.7 cm Paper: 126 x 147.7 cm

Like so many fine photographers, Mikhael Subotzky drifted into photography in 2000 as an eighteen-year-old backpacker intending simply to document his travels, and got the bug. Aware of the great tradition of documentary photography, and particularly inspired by David Goldblatt’s In Boksburg (1982), he set out to make a portrait of a small, post-apartheid town that would address marginalization and incarceration, two facets of the violence wracking the country.

Mikhael Subotzky
Diorama, Chris Barnard Museum, Beaufort West

2008

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

Image: 106 x 128.7 cm Paper: 126 x 147.7 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Offering To The Ancestors, Kwa Mandlankosi

2006

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

Image: 106 x 128.7 cm Paper: 126 x 147.7 cm

Beaufort West was his choice, a hardscrabble place located roughly equidistant between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
In the best tradition of the extended photo essay (happily the work has been published as a book), Subotzky gives us a balanced picture of the place and its people, the drunks, prostitutes and prisoners at the bottom of the heap; the grim-faced whites holding onto their privileges at the top.

Mikhael Subotzky
Leon (At The Back Of The Hospital), Beaufort West Hospital

2006

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

Image: 106 x 128.7 cm Paper: 126 x 147.7 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
'Fuck Me', Toekomsrus, Beaufort West

2007

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

Image: 128.7 x 106 cm Paper: 147.7 x 126 cm

Most wrenching is a picture of a dazed young girl with the words ‘Fuck Me’ written on her forehead – the idea of a joke, the photographer tells us, of her drunken parents. It’s a depressing reminder that the ghosts of apartheid have yet to be laid to rest.

Mikhael Subotzky
Samuel (Standing), Vaalkoppies (Beaufort West Rubbish Dump)

2006

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

100 x 116 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Residents, Vaalkoppies (Beaufort West Rubbish Dump)

2006

Lightjet C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper

100 x 116 cm

Text by William A Ewing

*Mikhael Subotzky, Beaufort West, with essay by Jonny Steinberg, Chris Boot, London, 2008.

Mikhael Subotzky
Shackles, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison

2004

Digital print in pigment inks on cotton rag paper

50 x 70 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Strip Search, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison

2004

Inkjet print

50 x 75 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Pasvang, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison

2004

Digital print in pigment inks on cotton rag paper

56 x 78 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Cell 33, E2 Section (5) Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison

2004

Inkjet print

50 x 135 cm
Mikhael Subotzky
Cell 33, E2 Section, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison

2004

Digital print in pigment inks on cotton rag paper

55.9 x 134.5 cm

Other Resources

artfacts.net
Additional information-Mikhael Subotzky

artnet.com
Additional images and information- Mikhael Subotzky

goodman-gallery.com
Representative gallery- Mikhael Subotzky

mono-blog.com
Additional images and information- Mikhael Subotzky

studiolacitta.it
Artist essay and additional images- Mikhael Subotzky