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The doctor who became a photographer on the streets of New York

• Norman Seeff he born in South Africa and immigrated to New York in 1969, where he began portraying the most heterodox people in its path.
• He soon began his career as a photographer of artists and celebrities. Patti Smith, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, the Ramones, Ray Charles …
• An exhibition includes photos of Seeff, who comes to your mind predator models without understanding that there is someone behind the lens as vulnerable as he.

He graduated with honors in medicine in South Africa in 1965 and then spent three years in the emergency room of a hospital in Soweto and was also a member of Mansfield Foot Doctor Association, Ohio. Norman Seeff (Johannesburg – South Africa, 1939) and then felt an artistic vocation, but had no idea that his future was in New York behind the lens of a camera. Family tradition weighed, his father was a renowned physician, and social environment not taken seriously who he intended to pursue the arts professionally.

“I grew up in South Africa during apartheid. The system was violent and oppressive, most of my friends had to flee the country or were arrested,” he recalls photographer in a recent interview. Pushed by circumstances, he emigrated in 1969 to New York and newcomer began to portray the most unorthodox people with whom he was on the streets of Manhattan.

The Look of Sound (The appearance of sound) -from September 28 until January 25 at the Zephyr of Mannheim (Germany) space, one of the few German public centers dedicated exclusively to photography has 160 contemporánea- photographs veteran artist, who with the philosophy of mind and predatory approach without understanding that after the goal there is another being as vulnerable as he has photographed the likes of Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, Frank Zappa, Deborah Harry, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Ike and Tina Turner, the Jackson Five, Kiss, Marc Bolan …
“I Do not try to take a picture, basically I continue with a”
Since he arrived in New York is crossed by chance with Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe when they were a couple and gave several usual stars of the Factory of Andy Warhol, he knew his way of approaching portrayed should not be that of a photographer all it is trying to establish a relationship, seek common language that would allow the two parties to be comfortable and not have to force the moment. Then came the charge that would change his life: he did photography for The Band in Woodstock and was published as a poster in the third studio album of the group, Stage Fright (1970).

A test of the relaxed atmosphere of their meetings is making videos ellasDos years after making that picture became creative director of United Artists Records and then took the plunge and became independent to found his own studio. The natural speed with which the race unfolded Seeff the ease with which to connect with whom he corresponds poses for.

“When you look at my contact sheets, all photos are different, because they do not try to take a picture, basically continue with a relationship,” he says. A test of the relaxed atmosphere of their meetings is in the videos that always has made many of them, some of them gathered on its website, with Ray Charles, Al Green, Alicia Keys …- as a file. The exhibition displays some of these crucial audiovisual documents in the creative process of the author.