“Originally a studio still life photographer, Brian Kosoff turned to producing monochrome landscape images that speak in a whisper. His images are collected into seven galleries with deceptively simple titles. I started with New Work 2 and was flabbergasted by the soft palette of gray tones he uses to articulate quiet moments in time, from a single tree near a lake (“Loch and Tree”) to a new take on sailboats (“Boats at Night”) using long exposures to create an impression of the boats, producing an abstract and, dare I say it, painterly effect, albeit in black and white.
Often employing the panoramic format and many times eschewing hard blacks, the images in New Work only occasionally show the hand of man in objects such as telephone poles or sprinklers, but seldom any people. With his pristine compositions Kosoff has created an idealized world that sometimes strays into the allegorical, as in his image of three telephone poles titled “Three Crosses” that may generate internal debate within the viewer. And then it hit me: Kosoff is a poet with a camera, rendering stanzas in grayscale using the rhythm of minimalistic images of pier pilings (“Pier Pilings with Bird”) where you have to work to see the bird. It’s as if Kosoff wants to make his work accessible while at the same time not too accessible, holding back part of an image’s mystery for discovery and interpretation by the viewer.
Because you can never take the still life out of the still life photographer, Kosoff offers a gallery of everyday objects photographed in ways you never expected using the same monochrome dynamic that pervades his landscapes. You might even call them “tabletop landscapes” but they are really answers to something I often hear from photographers: “There’s nothing to photograph.” My reply is to look at Brian Kosoff’s images and become inspired.”
Shutterbug Magazine, June 2012