Matjaz Krivic



Matjaz Krivic is a globe-trotting photographer specialising in capturing the personality and grandeur of indigeneous people and places. For 22 years he has covered the face of the earth in his intense, personal and aesthetically moving style that has won him several prestigious awards.
 He has made the road his home, and most of the time you can find him traveling with his camera somewhere between Sahara and Himalaya. He has portrayed poor parts of the world characterised by traditions, social unrest and religious devotion. His photographs sensitively reflect the images of the marginal word – the voices of the neglected. Because of the artist’s directness and respect for individuals, the people photographed are spontaneous, natural and open.Their «soul» is captured and the viewer is encouraged to observe and think. He was awarded, among other prizes, as Geographical Photographer of the Year (in 2002 and 2003) and as Travel Photographer of the Year (in 2004 and 2010).

(Photo 1) Onno is a teenage girl from the Arbore tribe in Omo Valley in Ethiopia. As other women of the Arbore tribe, Onno enjoys decorating herself with hundreds of beads, which she believes makes her more attractive. Her hair is cut short, which is a symbol of virginity. Soon Onno will marry and as part of the wedding process she will have to be circumcised. This process will be done by her mother and like all Arbore women she will have to follow the tradition.

Urbanistan: The story of a quiet loudness  As soon as you hear the word Urbanistan your imagination is whisked off into the traffic mayhem of Calcutta, the tawdriness of the neon sex nightlife in Bangkok, the unbelievable structuralised yet frenzied Tokyo, the suffocating and dusty streets of the (hardly) living body of the decaying Cairo, the roundabout of the hedonistic and aggressive Rio, the unstoppable narcissistic Manhattan, the global supermarket of turbo consumerism. However, Matjaž Krivic’s photography project Urbanistan is a miraculous anti-thesis to all this. It is a story from the other side – a story of the quiet loudness on the margins of total existential, religious, economic and geopolitical chaos. A story that speaks of the indestructible spirit and the eternal search of inspiration that enables survival. It is a story of individuals and social groups who, putting aside the racket and general urban angst, keep searching for the core of existence in a different space and a different time. It is a story of survival through play, prayer, tradition, travels and especially, a special light, that the author sees and records so well. Urbanistan is a space that allows you to take a breather from the city. Any city. (Boštjan Videmšek)

(Photo 2) Lalibela, Ethiopia: Two young worshippers are reading the Old Testament during the old Christian (orthodox) celebration of Timkat. (Photo 3) Djenné, Mali: A worshipper during prayers in the largest mud mosque in the world. (Photo 4) Fes, Morocco: Moroccan leather was famous around the world already in the middle ages. The way they work in the tanneries in the old part of the city has not changed over the centuries.

(Photo 5) Thula, Yemen: Young boys playing volleyball in the quiet streets of the historic town. (Photo 6) Shibam, Yemen: The boy that has leaned his rifle against the wall is praying in an old abandoned mosque in the desert, near the historical town in the Hadhramaut valley.

"I make my art because it’s the only way I want to live" he says "To me it is more of a lifestyle than just a job. And I also think I have something genuine to say – something that inspires people and invokes compassion and happiness. I’m inspired by living this way – being on the road, meeting these people, seeing the places I see and working hard to capture the essence and beauty of my encounters. My main aim is to capture the personality and beauty of indigenous people and places. I have never looked at photography as an industry, but purely as my passion. As a professional it is vital to me to keep the enthusiasm of an amateur. I photograph genuine, pristine moments, never posed or fixed. Total respect for any individual or group is at an essence – my work is about capturing a true and natural beauty.

All pictures are copyright © by Matjaz Krivic  | More about the project "Urbanistan"  here  |  Official Website