A PIONIER OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Painting and Photography in the 21st Century are no longer regarded as opposites, but interconnected and are often even used as parallel design elements in a single work of art. The work of Martina Kalaba is a representative of this art. She „paints“ not with brush and paint, but mainly through the medium of photography and digital editing on the computer. Martina Kalaba began her studies at the age of 19 at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. After three years, she pushes out into the world and tries to be a freelance artist. The photographer first made a name as an industrial photographer. As a photographer, she does not need a studio and expensive flash units. Instead of modern photographic technology, she prefers to rely on her judgment accompanied with patience and precision.
In the long run Martina Kalaba finds that industrial photos does not fulfill her artistic ambitions. She worked on herself; she experimented and discovered finally the computer as a new level of expression. Initially on the screen before her eyes the fascinating and colorful imagery in which anything seems possible takes its form! Kalaba’s photo fantasies form not from the outside world, but reflect the inner backside of the external phenomenal world. Not coincidentally, her photo art always reminds us of radiographs or electrocardiograms. The artist has expanded the visual language of visual communication to a new level.
The fact that these artistic techniques developed by her are used also as social and critical of the current time, is apparent in her current series „John and Jane Doe - photographic illustrations as a synonym for a new era.“ The artist combines various electronically readable and biometric standard passport photos, as they are prescribed on passes and tickets to the bank or the insurance company. She develops a nightmarish image of the transparent people, as they are pursued by authorities and businesses everywhere. This caricature takes the individual‘s uniqueness, individuality and his humanity, it lowers him/her into a mere medium, the account-holder, someone ill for insurance companies, or a welfare case. By using her digital photography, Martina Kalaba has managed to create emblematic works in which the threat to our people is recognizable by everyone.
Dr. Peter Schütt