Metaphors of intimacy have guided Christian Sunde's photographs for the past quarter century. Although his subjects are generally family members, friends and lovers, in his photographs they become personified archetypes. In this marriage of familiar knowledge and infinite emotion he elevates the exploits of ordinary people to a level of heroic designation.
The free spirit of the 60's and early 70's is embodied in his photograph of brother and sister sharing an outdoor shower from a watering can. The bond between a mother and daughter is emphasized in his photograph of a family enjoying a sun bath together while the father remains crouched in the shadows. He advances the rural values of survival and independence in the careful framing of his eldest son proudly displaying a dead rabbit.
Sunde creates his persona as an artist through the description of his subjects. Although Sunde's relationship to his subjects changes from father to husband to lover to traveler to farmer to carpenter, his role as the artist as observer remains consistently proud, emotional and serious. His photographs of personal and tender moments are in the end a description of the confidential emotions and feelings felt by the artist and revealed by his photographs.
Sunde's ability to create a timeless connection between things felt and things seen surrounds his work with a warm, intellectual sincerity. This constant intention he announces in his work is both the creator and destroyer of the illusions that his photographs rely on, and the aspirations that they fulfill.
Christian Sunde lives and works in Syracuse New York.
Jeffrey Hoone (c) 1990