My photographs are about water. Water plays a central role in all our lives, be it as a substance required for our survival, be it as a mystical symbol in our spiritual worlds. The symbolism of water is found in most – if not all – religions and philosophical traditions, and has a universal undertone of purity, fertility and wisdom.
Many artists have been inspired by water. One of the most famous artists obsessed by water was Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo wrote in his manuscripts about the reflections on water and its importance for painters; the motion of water; the refraction of light through water; and even about the action of water in the production of rainbows. He described water as "the vehicle of nature" ("vetturale di natura"), believing water to be to the earth what blood is to our bodies.
Leonardo made hundreds of observations and drawings on the movement of water. But Leonardo was of course never a dispassionate observer, and he wrote elsewhere of the 'beautiful spectacles of rippling water' and the 'beautiful movements which result from one element [air] penetrating another [water].' And it is this beauty that I try to capture with my photography.
If you want to find out more about the physics of light or the symbolic meaning of water (and reflection) in various religions and traditions, you will find some links to interesting sites here:
As a biologist and a nature photographer, I try to document those tiny elements present in our everyday nature environment, which often pass unperceived, and which may get a new bearing when taken out of their natural context. I am especially fascinated by water, a medium in constant movement, which can take an unlimited number of shapes and colours depending on wind conditions, on the angle of incidence of the sunlight, and on the colour and structure of the ground. By this, water creates unceasingly artistic master pieces that, however, mostly are too small and too short-lived to be admired during a walk at the beach. My photography aims at capturing these master pieces by freezing the moment in a close-up picture, in order to allow the beholder to admire this abstract expressionist art created by nature. My compositions show a naturalistic description of the object, but are put in an abstract context by means of selection, magnification and delimitation.
“Everybody can walk at a beach, a lakefront or a riverbank and take pictures. However, it requires a trained eye and an artist vision to take the right capture. A capture that is perfectly balanced in terms of color and composition. And Steffen Faisst can do this. … All photographs demonstrate a sense for picture composition, a feeling for color and an esthetical sensation, lifting them over those, most of us take with a camera. One needs to think and watch like an artist to present us with these photographs. With his pictures, Steffen Faisst opens our eyes for the beauty of nature.”
TOM JØRGENSEN, art critic at the Danish newspaper ”Jyllands Posten” and editorial journalist at the Danish art magazine ”Kunstavisen”