At first glance, Christopher Behrend’s photographs strike the viewer as pretty (awesome) pictures…and, indeed, they are. But then something magical happens. You soon find yourself subtly drawn inward by forces that transcend the images from mere pleasantry for the visual senses to scaffolding for the emotions. And now…it’s difficult to let go! How can you walk away when you feel transfixed by the imagery, almost as though you’re a part of that place and time?! It’s both powerful and humbling.
His choice of subject matter has taken him from his own backyard to esoteric locations around the world, and none of them disappoints. Although others may have photographed the same surroundings or objects, no one captures their silent character or ethereal essence with the same potency as Chris (e.g. “Amani – Lion King” from the Buffalo Zoo; “Selkie” from the Faroe Islands).
He delights in showcasing the unique and historic architecture of Buffalo, and has also managed to photo-journalistically document unprecedented local meteo-rological and astrological events with dynamic realism. His innate ability to strike visual balance in every shot – whether through lighting, color, proportion, focus, or juxtaposition – satisfies the subconscious desire for symmetry with breath-taking and mesmerizing results. Wildlife and nature are also favorite themes, and through the occasional use of subliminal cameos, Chris’s light-hearted sense of humor is cleverly conveyed. (Sometimes you have to look very discerningly!)
True to his adventurous nature, the backstories on these photo-shoots are as extraordinary as the photos themselves, and his adaptability and quick instinct underlie an uncanny skill for catching the ideal image with prescient, split-second timing. These inborn capabilities and keenly developed skills have garnered him several distinctive local and national awards, and this recognition is deservedly growing. His work is clean, crisp, and always displayed with professionalism. Though he leans toward a classic black frame with white matting, he is willing to oblige the occasional special request.
Chris has worked very hard to design and prepare his own gallery, which recently opened in the Buffalo region with a special gala event. His website is a welcomed addition wherein I anticipate the privilege of perusing his complete works at my leisure, and selecting new photos for my personal collection. Smart money says this is a talent to follow.
(I am not related nor have I received any financial remuneration or goods in exchange for this review. These statements are made freely and express my personal viewpoints. )
Chris Behrend is without debate one of the GREATEST photographers alive today. Period.
I could end my review here for this incredible artist, but I feel compelled to expand upon my passion for his work.
I too, am an artist, a painter / illustrator, by vocation and trade, for many decades, and have come to know the photography of many gifted photographers,
but most pale in comparison to Mr. Behrend.
Mr. Behrend not only takes a picture, but seasons it, breathes an ethereal beauty into the subject matter, exposes its soul, thus transcending time and space,
leaving a lasting impression on the viewer’s mind and memory.
Although an international photographer, he has an abiding love for our city of Buffalo as subject matter.
His talent speaks most clearly to my heart when he can take my once cherished city, now a withering shell of what once was, and turn studies of this city into diadems of sparkle and hope, diadems for the crown of the Queen City that once was
and is not forgotten by Mr. Behrend’s photography.
His treatment of Buffalo city scapes inspires hope for the future…what once was can be again. He re-purposes the long forgotten facades with such striking chiaroscuro, that your soul dances upon the stars
in the night sky…and hope springs eternal once more. He does more for this city than any tourist bureau ever did or ever could.
I therefore, nominate Chris Behrend “Honorary Ambassador of Buffalo” and a most worthy developer / architect in two dimensions, to bring back Buffalo’s dignity through his craft.