Swedish photographer Anders Petersen is best known in his home country but has been important to all of European photography; his first book, Café Lehmitz (1978), created a sensation, and remains a landmark. He is sometimes exaggeratedly gritty, and that "seamy underside" ethos has been so well mined by others by now such that it's starting to flirt with cliché, but visually he's insanely talented—his pictures don't so much define a mere "style" as create their own world.
I love the way the woman's hand obstructs the child's face in this. The small magic of a photograph.
His website pictures nearly four dozen books. Some that are available currently are From Back Home (with J. H. Engström), Rome, and an eponymous title (Tom Waits fans will recognize the cover picture).
I've never taken one picture that looks like an Anders Petersen, and I wonder how he does it.
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Paul: "I think this quote by Anders Petersen sort of sums up his way of shooting: 'Please be horrible! Tear down your photography into pieces. Don't bother about glamour, destroy the surface, take care of your innocence. Your fantasy is more important than reality. Remember, your pictures are jumping like rabbits into your camera when you understand photography is not about photography.'"
Mattias: "Anders is a wonderful and inspiring fellow human being and photographer. Thirteen years ago he was a guest and speaker at my local photo/camera club (to which I went only twice—the atmosphere was too suffocating...). I brought one of his books to sign, which he instead promptly inscribed to me in the following manner (my translation):
What photography is actually about is a question only for equilibrists. The main thing for me is that it is fun, mobile and terrible—to not be afraid of being afraid—if you understand what I mean. That is how I feel.
"And yes, apparently he prefers to use three small Contax T3 nowadays."