Severin Koller recognizes the necessity of documenting the daily life with his work. This allows him to explore a somewhat neglected chapter of Vienna. In doing so, his well-rounded craft places him in the ranks of famous street photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winograd, the newly-discovered Vivian Maier and other artists with penchants for capturing their hometowns in order to send their interpretations of daily life across the globe. Koller sticks to the traditions of classical photography, shoots in black and white, and enlarges his negatives in a darkroom, which ultimately has enabled him to scan in his prints for this magazine.
Over many years, he has catalogued over 20,000 Vienna street shots from the collection of over 60,000 negatives he has taken across the world. Single pictures cannot express the character of Vienna on their own. Only after viewing multiple pictures is one left with an impression of the signum of the age. Thus, a composition is born that captures the spirit of Vienna in ways that are thematically critical, dark, and bizarre, yet often humorous and ironic as well. It is an invaluable collection of Severin Koller’s photographs that through a photographically–aesthetic expression of timelessness reveals impacting accounts of the last ten years he has spent in Vienna. The following assortment of images captures the zeitgeist of Vienna in a way that unmistakably depicts the photographer’s emotions he felt while peering through the lens. The viewer may occasionally raise an eyebrow at what lies in front of him or her, but never will he or she turn away from such an unvarnished portrayal to Vienna. The style of photography is timeless with its black and white nature. It works with form and geometry as well as with similarities, extremes, and contrasts. In short, the noema of Severin Koller’s street photography is: “This is Vienna. Untamed.”.