Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf

Work from Paris Street View.

“Surprising and often hilarious images from Google Maps Street View circulate around the internet as fast as curious virtual tourists can uncover them. I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of these, which include crime scenes, LARPers, flashers, public urinators, digital marriage proposals, and even Norwegian spear fishermenchasing the Google van down the street. Some of these are happy accidents; others are pranks. Either way, looking at them seems to satisfy in us a search for wonder and mystery in the everyday world, one often erring on the side of humor in our time of viral memes and hyperlinked attention spans.

International artist Michael Wolf has mined Google Street View’s tremendous visual archive, revealing and also creating a new type of street photography. He refigures the “decisive moment” into the “decisive cut”, creating photographs not from the anticipatory release of the shutter, but through the editorial acts of searching and cropping…It attempts to represent the almost exhaustively photographed Paris in a new and meaningful way.

Paris is the city of Atget, Cartier-Bresson, and Doisneau, and we can’t help but filter its representations through their iconic images. Through the indiscriminate and mechanical eye of Google, Wolf’s Street View project depicts a modern Paris in a state of transition. His images are new and urgent, yet like his predecessors, Wolf still manages to capture the city’s signature combination of romance and edge. He uncovers intimate embraces, like a public kiss inarguably reminiscent of Doisneau’s Kiss by the Hotel de Ville, and flashes of public temper. A motorcyclist flashes his middle finger; a woman smokes in the shadows; weary pedestrians recuperate on a curb; and lots of people navigate the streets and sidewalks, minding their own business.” – ArtSlant.

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