MATT BRAMBERG INTERVIEWS Glenn Losack: " Photography's New Conscience"
I had the opportunity to interview Glenn Losack, M.D. after a Facebook friend referred him to me. One of his themes of his photographs symmetry caught my eye . He is both a psychiatrist and a photojournalist. What a combination! His photos have appeared in National Geographic and American Photo magazines.
His story is incredible:
I discovered that SYMMETRY brought forth numerous fascinating subliminal, metaphorical, psychological and cultural themes that werenât evident in the original images [images before they were processed in Photoshop]. Symmetry also enhanced the asthetic beauty of images. I found that it didn't work for many images, but those that were symmetrizable successfully, I felt needed to be made public to instill intellectual analysis and discourse.
2. What image editing program do you use?
PHOTOSHOP CS4 the absolute KING of all applications. It is one of the greatest inventions of the modern era.
3. How long does it take to make an image?
I can spend hours on an image. Some I work on for days until I am satisfied. The average time is about a few hours. The real truth is an image is never finished. You have to though call it quits when you think youâve gotten the point across.
4. Whatâs your favorite image?
(He mentions two: YOKO- PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC and BLIND BABY SITTER- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, pictured above)
An impossible question to answer. There are so many of them. My catalogue is close to 8000 images.
The two that come to mind is one that is owned by YOKO ONO ( the wife of John Lennon ) and the other made it into National Geographic.
5. What statement are you conveying in your image?
I have several goals with my photography. I am a devout advocate for the downtrodden, disenfranchised, scapegoated, handicapped, beggars of the world, etcâ¦ ( Please go to the web site and peruse INDIAN BEGGARS). I have photographed in India for the last 20 years. I have photographed Leper colonies, mental hospitals, beggars of all types, self mutilating religious festivals, cremations, and many other subjects that the West have never seen or know very little about. I try to make my work on the disenfranchised palatable for my audience so that their first reaction is not one of shock or denial. I try to give the downtrodden honor dignity and respect.
Trained as a psychiatrist/medical doctor, I attempt to understand the inner world of my subjects; their personalities, their eccentricities and many times the oddities of humanity fascinate me. Basically I am trying to help my audience look at what is in general difficult to look at.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts, ideologies and photography with you.
Truly and amazing photographer!!!! NYC, next big STAR!!!! I feel very lucky to be the owner of a Glosack myself!!!
Comment by dr. robi | June 6, 2009 | Reply
Amazing interview, Matthew!
Did a great job highlighting Glennâs remarkable and unique talents as a photographer!
Thereâs nobody like him!
Heâs is certainly NYCâs New Photographic STAR!!!
His Symmetry show is currently on exhibit at Solas on 232 east 9th st. in the East Village. Everyone should definitely check it out!
Comment by Dr. Robi | June 6, 2009 | Reply
I consider Dr Glenn Losack MD an institution a banyan tree under whose canopy you learn wisdom , tolerance and goodwill.
His love for humanity is what his people photography is about, he gives respect to the disfranchised.His pictures are wordless poem of pain..
Thanks for the interview and a glimpse into Dr Glenn Losacks mind..
Comment by firoze shakir | June 6, 2009 | Reply
I met Glenn when we both worked at a New Jersey prison for young males. The first thing you notice about Glenn is his remarkable sense of humor. Since I too am a Psychiatrist, I hope you will understand when I say that this outward show of mirth obscures a great sensitivity to human suffering. Glenn transforms this ability to an art form that the rest of us can experience. He truly is exceptional.
Comment by Ron Fisher, M.D. | June 6, 2009 | Reply
Speaking as an person who was born and raised in India and spent time in and out of various Art Schools in New York City, may I humbly say that Glennâs work is that of a passionate individual, a man who brings to the table his Work and Life experiences in a most compelling and unique way.
I can tell that his Photoshop creations are not just a display of the amazing creativity the Program bestows on its frequent users, and I am sure Glennâs enthrallment at the power that lies in his hands is carefully stifled as he seeks to go beyond the routine technical stages and into a higher realm of artistic endeavor.
Every one of the images of India that Glenn has captured would have stood up as great images on their own, but he has presented them in a more palatable form as he says, and that certainly makes a big difference. For, all those Indian images are just glimpses into the seamier side of everyday life to the Indians â or childhood memories to Indians abroad, like myself. However, for Westerners who live in total ignorance of this aspect of India, a whole different approach is necessary.
For me personally, to relive those memories through Glennâs eyes is a digital Rorshach Inkblot: Psychedelic, mesmerizing, surreal, haunting and thought-provoking, which was his intention, I believe. He certainly has grabbed my attention, and I am glad to count him as one of my newest friends on the web.
Bravo, Glenn !
Comment by Fred Miller | June 8, 2009 | Reply
your work is very moving, thought provoking for sure..makes me feel like have no right to complain when âthe day â just didnât go as planned. There is so much out there which we fail as a people to acknowledge . thank you for opening up my mind, my heart and my spirit.
Comment by rhonda bair | June 10, 2009 | Reply
Glenn's range and sensitivities as a photographer are astounding. He brings an acute eye and deep compassion to whatever his subject has become. From Gay Parade to Indian beggar, from Kabuki Samurai to Bahamian Ferry Driver, he cuts to the essence of a scene and then portrays it with compassion and insight. I canât help but wonder if he is as good a Psychiatrist as he is Photographer.
Having met him only several times, as a person he is humble and generous and this must be how he is able to gain the confidence of his disparate subjects. His web site is a gold mine of humanity.
Incidentally, I recently became the proud owner of a signed limited edition âLosack,â and I couldnât be more pleased. In my small collection it always engenders interest and speculation (mixed of course with admiration) while the other pieces are ignored. I just need more wall space for another âLosackâ I have my eye on!
Mark Hoornstra MD
Comment by Mark Hoornstra | June 10, 2009 | Reply
Thanks for this great interview. Glennâs work is stunning, moving, profound. Bravo to you for getting him to discuss the work.
Comment by Alice Feiring | June 12, 2009 | Reply
I have personally known Glenn for over 30 years,as we went to medical school in the Dominican Republic in the late 70âs.It is facinating to see a colleague and a good friend doing such amazing work with his unique approach to photography. Glenn was always a smart,witty,and talented person with a great compassion for the downtrodden.I am so proud of Glenn and I consider it an honor to be his friend,as he has worked so hard and has given his heart and soul to this project. Willie
Comment by Guillermo Vazquez M.D. | June 13, 2009 | Reply
GLENN IS INDEED A MASTER OF DEPICTING THE HUMAN DRAMAâ¦HIS WORK PENETRATES AND REVEALS THE I AND THE THOU OF LIFEâ¦..IN HIS IMAGES OF POVERTY WE SEE OUR FAILURES AS GIVERSâ¦.IN HIS BEAUTIFUL IMAGES WE SEE THAT LIFE CAN CONTAIN THE OTHER SIDE AND THAT ALL IS NOT PAINâ¦.DUALITIES ARE REVEALED BY HIS WORK AND ARE PRESENTED IN A SUBTLY DIRECT FASHIONâ¦..
SALON CIEL, A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT SUPPORTS EMERGING AND UNDISCOVERED ARTISTS, WHICH I AM CO-FOUNDER AND CO-PRODUCER OF, HAS CHOSEN TO SHOW HIS WORK AT OUR FIRST SALON OF THE NEW SEASON IN SEPTEMBER 09.
SYMMETRY always starts with one very ordinary photograph.