Tabea Mathern is a German photographer based in Berlin.
On her website, Mathern describes herself thus:
“I am a Visual artist, interfacing photography with the desire to create strong visual ideas and stories. Provided with a keen eye, a hungry heart and open mind, I am collecting and capturing colours, shapes, thoughts and things to often put them into a new context and build something new. My work is fuelled by everyday lifes’ inspiration and curiousity.
For different projects, artistic ones as well as commercial and editorial work I collaborate with people, brands and artists from all over the world for the best outcome and new insights for everybody.”
I find her work pleasing to look at as it is full of clean, crispness. Even in the images of chaos and mess, there is a certain order to the way objects have been placed.
Her work is colourful with simple backdrops and bases that give the images a very clean and ordered feel to them. Her style is one of contemporary product photography which she does use for that medium but also for her artistic exhibition work.
Although the colours in her work are very contrasting, they are mainly of the softer, pastel type. Much of the work seems to be of the minimalistic form with lots of space around the actual subjects of the composition. This works for me as it helps with the clean, crisp and orderly feeling I get from her work.
The image above is from Tabea Marthen’s 2015 exhibition titled “STILLLIFESTORIES“, which was a project she undertook to create a different image each week for a period of 52 weeks. Her annotation for the image lets us know about her liking for tea:
“I’ve been searching for the taste of home this week. A smell, a flavour, a sensation that is able to deeply touch you and take you away. At least for a few seconds. Something to bring you home, whatever or whereever that may be.”
Many of her images use items that she puts into settings you wouldn’t normally expect them. This adds an amount of humour to her work which adds that extra element to the initial beauty we see as viewers when we first look at her work.
One thing I wonder about her work is the positioning of items crossing a line. I wonder if this has relevance to the actual image, or is it just a subtle signature to reinforce the fact that it’s a Tabea Mathern piece?
I’ve also noticed that she’s not afraid to have strong shadows cast onto the backdrop in many of her images. Personally, at this stage of my development as a photographer, I don’t particularly like that but do appreciate that it’s something that should be considered and can add to a piece of work.