Elger Esser’s elegiac photographs depict landscapes that seem at once recognizable and foreign. Subdued and often minimalist in composition, Esser’s works explore the mysterious responses that landscapes can stir in us. Travel is an essential component of Esser’s work and his photographs capture villages, wharfs, countrysides, coast lines, sea cliffs, and other vistas across Europe, the United States, and Egypt. Born in Germany, Esser moved to Rome with his family at the age of two. “My entire life, from that time on,” the artist explained, “has been driven by the desire to seek out and experience new and different places…to find the known in the unknown.”
In addition to his on-site work with a large-format camera, Esser also creates photographs from his own vintage-postcard collection, enlarging sections to such a scale that the grain of the original printed postcard becomes clearly visible. Postcards of the landscape merge travel and adventure with emotional resonance and memory, a potent mixture that has fascinated Esser since childhood.