What does music look like?

Like a 3-D take on Jackson Pollock, the latest work by the artist Martin Klimas begins with splatters of paint in fuchsia, teal and lime green, positioned on a scrim over the diaphragm of a speaker.
Then the volume is turned up. For each image, Klimas selects music — typically something dynamic and percussive, like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Miles Davis or Kraftwerk — and the vibration of the speaker sends the paint aloft in patterns that reveal themselves through the lens of his Hasselblad. For this series, Klimas spent about 1,000 shots to produce the final images from his studio in Düsseldorf, Germany. In addition to the obvious debt owed to abstract expressionism, Klimas says his major influence was Hans Jenny, the father of cymatics, the study of wave phenomena.
Julie Bosman - The New York Times Magazin



This photo series depicts silk scarves from the 1950s through the 90s as they flutter quickly to the ground. Oddly undecided whether they are two- or three-dimensional, whether they are pictures or art objects, these scarves are an identity crisis in its visible, physical form. Their styles reference the artistic movements of their times. Under Klimas's direction, they cite abstract expressionism, op and pop art, and call to mind artists such as Rothko, Vasarely and Lichtenstein. With these works, Klimas traces the path from fashion accessory back to picture. In the places where he pauses, brilliant color spaces meet minimalistic geometric patterns and unfold a startlingly strong-willed visual power.



The photographs of birds of prey are self-portraits in the broadest sense. As soon as they have taken flight, the birds pass through a light beam sensor, effectively snapping their own pictures. Klimas shows them in a perfect paradox: although these images are captured at the moment of ultimate physical tension, the subjects appear strangely still and lifeless against the stark, grey background.
By liberating the birds from the transfiguring natural surroundings to which they are normally confined, Klimas makes a break with our visual habits. When the setting is eliminated, our attention is directed at the birds themselves. Completely detached from any context, they appear larger than life and almost
a little surreal.



Flawlessly arranged flower vases are shot by steel balls and captured at the moment of their destruction. When hit by the projectiles, glass vases shatter, and ceramic and stoneware vases burst into large fragments. What interests Klimas is not so much the moment of impact as the transformation taking place in one seven-thousandth of a second. While the top half of the photograph remains poised in an absolutely harmonious still life, utter chaos has erupted below. The contrast of motionlessness and top speed explodes the triteness of the subject. The simultaneous presence of two distinct states and the improbable serenity of the pictures are positively spellbinding.


Porcelain Figurines

From a height of three meters, porcelain figurines are dropped on the ground, and the sound they make when they hit trips the shutter release. The result: razor-sharp images of disturbing beauty—temporary sculptures made visible to the human eye by high-speed photography technology. The porcelain statuette bursting into pieces isn't what really captures the attention; the fascination lies in the genesis of a dynamic figure that replaces the static pose. In contrast to the inertness of the intact kitsch figurines Klimas started out with, the photographs of their destruction possess a powerfully narrative character.