Meet the Photographer: Caleb Stein
We are always fascinated to learn the inspiration and drive behind artists’ work. Our Urban Contemporary Art & Street Photography auction features artwork by world leading urban artists and street photographers, including photographer Caleb Stein. We met with Caleb to learn more about his work and creative routine.
In your opinion, what makes a great photograph?
Great photographs combine uncertainty with grace and energy. When I look at a great photograph, it actually produces some sort of a humming sound in my head. With a good photograph, I can identify the components that draw me in. With a great photograph, everything is necessary, the details tell stories, nothing is excess, and nothing is unnatural or misplaced. Plus that mysterious something extra.
What is a typical day like for Caleb Stein? Do you have a creative routine?
I'm currently based in Hanoi with my wife, the video artist Andrea Orejarena. We've been working on a long-term, multi-media collaboration with Vietnamese veterans and their descendants exploring the memory of war.
Since I've begun to sell my work, my days have become my own. There's this sense of incredible freedom, and I try to put that to good use every day. I know that not every day can or will lead to strong work, but I keep pushing.
You were born in London and you work is being exhibited at Old Spitalfields market in the heart of the city, how have cities influenced your work?
Cities have influenced my work because they provide the sort of dense situations that can produce energetic, dynamic work.
What does it mean to you to be producing work to help raise funds for Hepatitis C Trust?
I feel lucky to be able to help in some small way to raise funds for Hepatitis C Trust. I'm not a believer in "art for art's sake", and I'm happy that the photos can be put to good use.
Who are your favourite street artists/photographers? Does their work influence your own practice?
Too many to name! I think it's important to know what's been done before me. Some of my favorites include Model, Levinstein, Klein, Gilden, Larrain, Koudelka, Peress. I also think Goya would have been a good photographer.