IN 2005, Krogvold was knighted with the Order of St. Olav He says about his beginnings: ‘Norway is a small country, so it can be hard especially in the early stages of a career to get the international attention, more than just an acceptance, if you are working from a city like Oslo.’
It’s a challenging task to take a good portrait of someone you don’t really know apart from their public persona, but for Krogvold, this is ‘the essence of photography – new meetings, new experiences, to get close to new people, and interpret the human face trough the camera lens. It is one of the main things that keep my interest for photography alive.’ His motto is that ‘there is no such thing as a boring model, just boring photographers’.
Krogvold has visited Africa (Kenya, Niger and Tanzania) on numerous occasions and depicted people in poor living conditions but who emanate strength, spirit and optimism. ‘Africa is a wonderful continent, full of hope and dignity, and it is my wish to express that in my pictures. It affects me in a very positive way. And I have worked on several projects with aid-organisations in Africa. The joy and the positive attitude the African people show, gives me hope.’
‘there is no such thing as a boring model, just boring photographers’
Always using a film in his camera, Krogvold has not yet been seduced by the convenience of the digital photography. ‘I still enjoy the magic of the darkroom. My pictures are of course often scanned for the purpose of printing.’ But he stresses that ‘if anything is done at the computer after scanning, it is only to adjust the image to the results similar to those from the darkroom’.
Edvard Munch is one of the Norwegian artists that have ‘consciously and subconsciously’ influenced Krogvold, as well as ‘special tones and temperature in the Nordic light’. ‘The light of one’s childhood will follow any artist all through his life, I guess. Like Chagall said when talking about light in his art: “You must not betray your mother”.’
Krogvold regularly lectures about photography at workshops for businesses and schools and at those independently organised worldwide. The next one starts in Rome on 8th March 2009. ‘The topics wary over themes like visual communication, photographic and art history, aesthetics, motivation.’
‘I think the easy way out is to experiment for the sake of the experiment itself, just to see what happens, and then go “wow’
How does one’s work change after decades of using a camera? Krogvold says he definitely experiments more now than 20 years ago. ‘My work has been an ongoing experiment during all that period of time. I think the easy way out is to experiment for the sake of the experiment itself, just to see what happens, and then go “wow”. It is important to know and learn the basics of photography, composition, art history – to do the homework first. Then it’s time to play.’
An example of his experimental photography is the series Ibsen’s Women, ‘a mixture of black and white, colour, paint and ink, all made analogue… I have a strong passion for photography, and I am thrilled to continue to explore the unlimited possibilities it gives me as an artist in the years to come.’
This year, Krogvold’s work will appear at Palazzo Braski, Museum de Roma (September) and Photo Art Festival, Poland (October).