30 UNDER 30: JULIAN FAULHABER
Born: Wüztberg, Germany
Resides: Dortmund, Germany
Education: University of Dortmund
Exhibitions: Hasted Hunt, New York ; L.A. Gallery, Frankfurt; Adamson Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Awards: Reinhart Wolf Award; Körber Award; Epson art photo award, Art Cologne
The Year 2008 was an impressive one for Julian Faulhaber. The photos of brand new and sureally shiny interiors that he had entered n a Dutch photo competition, posted on the Web, caught the attention of The New York Times Magazines's Kathy Ryan, who invited him to be in the exhibition she curated for the New York Photo Festival. There, the Hasted Hunt Gallery's directors saw his work; they later offered him his first solo show in the States. The metropolitan Museum's current show, "Reality Check" displays one of Faulhaber's prints alongside work by Gregory Crewdson, Daivd Levintha and Stephen Shore.
His success did not come overnight. He assisted commercial photographers in Frankfurt for two years before he entered art school. Several times he showed his work to gallery owner Michael Neff. Neff's advice: "Do something new." Faulhaber began photographing tanning salons and fitness centers, showing their fixtures in such tight close-up, they looked abstract. "This is good," Neff said. He next began photographing newly constructed rooms "in the brief, poignant moment of perfection between their completion by the contractors and the arrival of the first users."
He finds his subjects in architecture magazines or by scouting new construction sites, then contacts the architect to get access. His photos' sheen and intense colors result from exposures lasting 10 to 20 seconds. "Everyone knows those places where I shot the pictures but if they're standing in the room they don't recognize it," he says. Faulhaber's never sure how a photo will come out. He takes only about eight photos a year that satisfy him.
He is still surprised by his recent success: "I'm so lucky to be able to do what I want to do."