Winner Award Newcomer 2012: Piotr Zbierski
Piotr Zbierski is the winner of the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2012’ with his portfolio ‘Pass by Me’.
‘Pass by me’, the winning portfolio, represents the culmination of a project on which Polish photographer Piotr Zbierski has been working for five years. In his long-term project entitled ‘White Elephant’, the photographer explores the expression of emotions and the question of to what extent they can alter reality. In this, he is particularly fascinated by chance encounters. His view of people in the role of an impartial observer, fleeting encounters with strangers – without prior knowledge of his subjects – enables him to see what is pure and essential: people and their entire world of emotions. In the words of Piotr Zbierski, ‘I chose photography because it lets me get very close to people. It is the only medium with a directness that lets me show the existence of the imagination in the real world.’ In his images, he concentrates on faces, gestures, the expression of feelings and relationships. His images have no pretension of being original, but instead are authentic. They depict scenes from the heart of life itself, captured at a wide variety of locations. The majority were shot on journeys through Eastern Europe and India.
Although the portfolio appears to have a random structure at first sight, an underlying order and relationship exists between the images. Together they build an entirety and relate a story of happiness, memories and encounters characterised by the photographer’s own particular style.
Piotr Zbierski, born in 1987, attended the Polish National Film School from 2006 to 2012 and graduated with a master’s degree. Selected images from his ‘White Elephant’ projects have already been shown in various exhibitions in Poland, Russia and Portugal.