Marti Friedlander

England / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1928, d.2016

Ralph Hotere - The Artist’s Studio, Port Chalmers

  • Purchased 1998
  • Photograph
  • 504 x 405mm
  • 98/106
  • 1979

This photograph of Dunedin artist Ralph Hotere is part of a series of portraits of New Zealand artists by Marti Friedlander, taken between 1977 and 1979. She was inspired to photograph living artists after reading Alexander Liberman’s book The Artist in his Studio. Here the key elements of hand and easel anchor the image as Hotere looks away from the camera. He is relaxed and contemplative, yet his penetrating self-awareness is framed by the intense light falling on his face and hair. Friedlander was born in London, she studied photography at Bloomsbury Technical School and worked as a studio assistant for portrait photographer Douglas Glass and fashion photographer Gordon Crocker. She arrived in Auckland with her New Zealand husband Gerrard in 1958. Friedlander’s first photographs in New Zealand were of a protest meeting in 1960 but it was not until 1964, after returning from a year in Israel and Europe, that she began taking photographs full-time. She was awarded a Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999.