Category: In conversation with

In conversation with Günther Komnick main

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In conversation with Günther Komnick main
Gallery F, photographer Gunther Komnick, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, District Six photography

Günther Komnick tells us the story of how he left East Prussia as a kid.

A conversation between Gavin Furlonger & Günther Komnick at his house. He tells us the story of how he found his passion for photography and how it led him to South Africa.

” From there, we escaped after three years.”

Photographer Günther Komnick, born in 1929, weaves a captivating narrative that spans continents and epochs. His journey began in the tumultuous aftermath of World War II, as he bid farewell to his childhood home in East Prussia and embarked on a life-altering odyssey.

As a young boy, Günther’s experiences were marked by hardship and resilience. Interned in a Russian labor camp alongside his mother and younger sister, he witnessed the ravages of war firsthand. Amidst the grim conditions, he discovered an enduring appreciation for life’s simplest pleasures—a crust of bread, a shared potato soup—lessons that would shape his artistic sensibilities.

In the camp’s shadows, Günther honed his innate talent for capturing the essence of humanity. His haunting sketches depicted people teetering on the precipice of existence, their vulnerability etched into every line. Fear, survival instincts, and a keen eye for danger became his companions.

At eighteen, liberated from the camp, Günther embarked on a quest for self-discovery. His path led him from northern Germany to the Black Forest, where he initially aspired to become a sculptor. However, fate intervened when Joseph Bromberger, recognizing Günther’s latent potential, guided him toward lithography. The Bromberger family embraced him, and under their mentorship, he blossomed into a skilled lithographer and graphic artist.

Switzerland beckoned next, where Günther further refined his craft. Yet destiny had other plans. An advertisement lured him to the vibrant landscapes of South Africa in 1956. Settling in Cape Town, he established his own graphic design business, infusing his work with the rich tapestry of Southern Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, and Zanzibar.

But Günther’s talents transcended mere photography. He emerged as a polymath—an artist who wielded words, colors, and images with equal mastery. His lens captured both people and landscapes, revealing the raw truth that defies temporal constraints. And as a graphic designer, he wove visual narratives that resonated far beyond the present day.

Enter Gavin Furlonger, the inquisitive interviewer. Known for his tireless efforts in archiving and preserving photographers’ legacies, Gavin’s passion intersected with Günther’s. Their conversation bridged generations, linking the era of fashion photography from the 1970s to the 2000s with the indomitable spirit of a man who continues to breathe life into each frame.

Together, Günther Komnick and Gavin Furlonger illuminate the artistry, resilience, and interconnectedness that bind the creative souls of South Africa.

Günther Komnick

“What is my intention with my photography? I cannot always find the right words to express what I feel. So I take photographs and my feelings are reflected in the images. I become part of the photographs and they become part of me. They are my impressions of the way I see the world. “



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In conversation with Ruvan Boshoff

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In conversation with Ruvan Boshoff

Ruvan Boshoff tells us how he aquired his signed James Soullier print.

A conversation between Gavin Furlonger & Ruvan Boshoff when he popped into the gallery to talk about how he acquired this signed print from James Soullier.

“Jimi influenced us, because he had a nice way of telling stories…It was all about telling stories.”

Ruvan embarked on his photographic journey in the early 1980s while serving in the military. His passion for capturing moments led him to explore the art of visual storytelling during his compulsory military operational service. As he honed his skills, Ruvan transitioned to professional work, joining the esteemed teams at The Star and later the Sunday Times in Johannesburg.

At these renowned publications, Ruvan collaborated with a constellation of fellow photographers, each leaving an indelible mark on South African photography. Among his esteemed colleagues were:

  • Juhan Kuus: A visionary photographer known for his evocative images that delved into the heart of social and political issues.
  • Ken Oosterbroek: A photojournalist with an unyielding commitment to documenting the tumultuous transition from apartheid to democracy.
  • Dale Yudelman: An artist who skillfully captured the essence of everyday life, infusing his work with authenticity and empathy.
  • David Sanison: A master of visual storytelling, David’s lens revealed the multifaceted tapestry of South African society.

Together, this talented cohort of photographers shaped the narrative of their nation, capturing both its struggles and triumphs through their compelling imagery. Ruvan’s contributions, alongside those of his esteemed peers, continue to resonate in the annals of South African photography.

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Part Two:

James Soullier

Famed for his love of his Leica camera, which he refused to move from despite his peers shifting to more modern technology, James was renowned for his passion for natural, ambient light and was never observed using a flash.



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