Introducing: Saul Bromberger + Sandra Hoover
Discover 35+ years of exceptional photography by this collaborative duo
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Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover have spent more than 35 years developing a shared sensibility centred around their compassionate worldview. Self-described outsiders, Bromberger and Hoover seek to understand themselves through their art practice, resulting in a remarkable record of American society as witnessed from the margins. Photographing subjects both individually and collaboratively – early Gay Pride parades, outlier populations of rural and urban communities, the impact of AIDS – they make compositions that show the interconnectedness of humanity.
At the beginning of September, I interviewed the artists to talk about their lives together, their collaborative art practice, and to learn more about their photographic series that we are offering to collectors exclusively via FFOTO. I’ve excerpted some commentary below to accompany a selection of photographs; you’ll find our complete conversation in The FFOTO Blog.
Craig D’Arville, FFOTO Co-founder
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Saul on meeting Sandra:
“I would develop Sandy’s film at the newspaper lab and I would roll it out on the light table and I would see, "Damn, she's getting better pictures than the people I'm working with." Or she would shoot life, and just the way people are interacting with each other. Her take on things, it was different. It was a quieter approach… And I began to think, ‘Wow. I wonder, can we work together?’ I had done, on my own, the San Francisco gay pride parade in 1984. And as it came up in '85, I said, "Come with me. This is a great event going on. Come enjoy it." So, we started collaborating on the project about the gay pride parades. That's how it all started.
Sandra’s advice to emerging photographers:
“To be a photographer, you have to listen. You have to hone great listening – observation – skills. If you really want to find out about that person, or that landscape – or anything – you have to listen. If you want to really tell someone's story, then you need to find out what attracted you to them in the first place.”
Saul on the photograph “Mariposa, California”, 1984:
“It was a real quiet scene and I was hoping that they wouldn’t see me. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. I didn’t shoot a lot of frames or anything, but I have to tell you, it’s the most difficult print I’ve ever made – just technically, it’s 10 seconds of basic exposure, and then 12 minutes of burning in all the different parts. It’s through this print, and some others, that I learned to print in an interpretive way. Asking myself, ‘What do I want this picture to say? What do I want the viewer to feel? What did I feel?’”
Saul on observing human nature:
“…I was studying people. Their behaviour, their mannerisms… That was Election Night, 1982 in Century City, in L.A. I was just looking at what was in front of me, seeing this couple dance in matching ladybug suits. I wanted to capture their body language and the expressions of their faces – of upper-class elitism, wealth, status.”
Sandra on how photography helps her make sense of the world:
“…That’s been my whole thing with photography – trying to figure out more about myself than the subject sometimes. I’m kind of, in a way, using photographing people as a form of therapy. To find out more about them, but about myself also.”
Read the complete interview in The FFOTO Blog…
The gift of a photograph will bring pleasure for years to come. Inquire about adding a composition by Bromberger and Hoover to a gift registry - for yourself or to mark someone else’s special occasion.