Martin H.M. Schreiber
About the artist:
Martin HM Schreiber (1946) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1952. In 1965 Martin joined the US Army where he went to Photo Lab School. This was the beginning of his career and education. Taking up photography full time after the service, he went on to teach and lecture at two prestigious institutions: The School of Visual Arts and The New School/Parsons, both in New York City. Returning to his European roots, Schreiber presently resides in France, outside of Paris. His works have been published internationally in every major magazine and newspaper and have been the subject of more than eighty group and solo exhibitions. His works are featured in twenty published books. My first interest in photography started in 1962 when my father returned from Japan with a Yashica Lynx 1000, a simple 35mm range finder camera, but the fanciest camera I had ever seen. I started to take quite a few photos, taking shots of my father roses, and won my first photo competition, 3rd prize in color in the New York World Telegram & Sun. I finished high school, tried college and after one year enlisted in the US Army to learn photography. Went to photo lab school for 10 weeks and then was sent to Germany in an intelligence unit where I spent 2 years developing my eye and technical abilities under the not too watchful eye of the US military. I managed to get some freelance work for the New York Times and for Woman Wear Daily. Upon my discharge in 1968 I was admitted with advanced placement into the School of Visual Arts in New York. After one semester hanging out with draft dodgers, photographers and absent professors I skipped out on my own. I started assisting for 6 months before getting my first real job, official photographer on an archeological expedition. In 1971 I won honorable mention in the first Life magazine photography contest where there were over 40,000 entrants and 110 winners and honorable mentions. I had my photo published on a full page and received a payment of $600 USD for it. From 1971 to 1976 I did many odd jobs while I struggled to establish myself as a serious photographer. Finally in 1977 I got a break from Ben Fernandez, then the head of the photography department at the New School/Parsons. He proposed that I teach a course on photographing the nude, which subsequently I did for the next 7 - 8 years. I also taught at the School of Visual Arts for one semester, a course on basic photography and darkroom. Due to my teaching the course on the nude I had my first book published, a collection of nudes in the studio and in nature titled BODYSCAPES which was published in 1980. I almost immediately embarked on another project, my love of the mythic cowboy. I spent the next 18 months riding horses, chasing cattle and cowboys throughout Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to come out with another book titled, LAST OF A BREED which came out in 1982. I had already started showing my work in galleries in 1976 and was forever chasing after new shows and work and lectures, struggling to make the big leap into becoming a household word in photography. Despite the books from 1982 to 1985 I struggled hard, and finally got another book to work on, The Majestic World of The Arabian Horse. It was a formula book, my first, and it was a commercial disaster, but extremely interesting to work on but a total waste of time and talent. My first big lesson in how not to do a book. In 1985 I hit the jackpot. Madonna was on the cover of Time magazine, and I had nude photos of The Madonna, a former model and brief girlfriend. After negotiating with Playboy and Penthouse I sold the photos to Playboy which were published in the 1985 September issue. With that success and money I stayed well afloat for the next 3 years but no more work came in, or not enough to pay the bills by itself. I was still struggling. By 1989 after the steel crisis, the oil crisis and bad politics I decided to pack my bags and try Europe, I was in debt, destitute and with out any prospects. I couldn’t even find a teaching job with all my qualifications, (but no university diploma). I arrived in Paris in June of 1989, destitute and with no contacts. It took me a good two years before I started to get any work. Since those struggling days, I have shot fashion, portraits, food photography, childrens fashion and a great deal of reportage, travel/lifestyle photography. I have traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Australia, Russia and North Africa with so many more places to discover. I work continuously on personal projects, a camera always at my side. Since the advent of digital, photoshop and excellent personal printers and scanners, I am having the time of my life printing all my work from past to the present.It is a whole new visual world with limitless possibilities and I find it very very exciting indeed.
Martin HM Schreiber (1946) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1952. In 1965 Martin joined the US Army where he went to Photo Lab School. This was the beginning of his career and education. Taking up photography