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Lights in Chicago: Satoki Nagata

Posted by in Art, Life

This week we are amazed by the work of Chicago-based photographer Satoki Nagata, who brilliantly combines street photography with classical elements of documentary style. By using high contrast prints and subjects backlit he enters elements of abstraction into his work, where it’s not clear what is it you’re looking at, so the meaning depends on your personal everyday experiences. We love this openness about Nagata’s style.

Drawing references back to Philip-Lorca diCorcia and his phenomenal head series, these images seem to take people out of their comfort zones and embrace the power of perfectly captured moment, where everything falls into place to complement photographer’s choice of composition, lighting, and subject.

Nagata’s photographs seem to successfully share the dynamics of a city. By being clueless in the same time, they could happen anywhere, anytime, and to any of us. At the same time, they seem personal, as you can almost see YOURSELF looking through the camera viewfinder. One of the most important elements of Nagata’s photography for the artist is to discover something within himself with each photograph.

Nagata gave an in-depth and incredibly interesting interview to Eric Kim, (read the full interview here – we highly recommend it) in it we learn that Nagata is a self-taught photographer, who started taking photos just for fun. Later on in life he encountered traditional way of learning, not to become better technically, but philosophically. In his own words, photography is about developing your own vision. We can certainly see that in these images. Love, love, love!









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