Robert is bred of a different era, a true master of his craft…and it can be seen in his body of work. I asked him to share with us a little about himself, what I got was proof that he is also an acomplished writer as well.
I’d like to share a few of his photos, but really the FOCUS is on the man behind the lens.
After graduating in 1976 Minneapolis became my home. Working at the top of an old house I continued my sculpture, drawing and photography. I had at least three local exhibits of my work as well as showing work at Mindscape in Evanston, IL., Human Arts in Dallas TX, Prince Royal Gallery in Alexandria VA and Pendragon Gallery in Annapolis MD. I participated in the International Sculpture Center’s ‘James Wilbur Johnson Sculpture Competition for Figure Modeling’ in Baltimore… but by then things were changing.
One of my models wanted to get into a local model agency so I photographed him with that in mind. Instantly he was in local newspaper ads and posters in Dayton’s (now Macy’s) department store bare-chested and selling bed linens. A new door was opening but quality photography equipment was pricey.
I was greatly moved by the premiere of the CBS television program called ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Always a romantic at heart, this old fable turned into modern day adventure series spoke to me… but I wasn’t happy with the direction it was going. So on a whim I wrote my first teleplay and based it not only my favorite 1940’s film of all time: ‘Portrait of Jennie’ but also my own life.
Much like the magic of the developer tray in my high school days, the possibility of being part of the most enigmatic TV series appeared when a producer from Hollywood called and said my ‘When The Bluebird Sings’ was going to be made… and I was going to be paid.
Though a unique and gratifying experience I have always insisted it also was something of a fluke. It gave me photo equipment that I use still to this day and enabled me to travel and deal with a myriad of modeling agencies… and photographers.
During this period I met the legendary Victor Skrebneski and his wonderful studio people, Dennis Minkle and the late Jovahnna X. Over the years I have sent many of my ‘discoveries’ in his direction and also enjoyed the hospitality of these kind people.
My work was first seen as note cards and calendars by Museum Graphics, a company owned by the family of Ansel Adams. Obviously they had decided to branch out from the work of the historic iconic photographer. My first calendar attracted interest with KSTP’s Good Company.
Six of my models were paraded and interviewed in what can only be called a sensational approach. It didn’t work. One young man, a school teacher, explained, “I have always wanted to be good at art but wasn’t; now I feel I am facilitating it.” Microphones drooped as did the mouths of the hosts.
Visit Robert’s website to contact him or to view his portfolio:www.guttke-arts.blogspot.com
You can also find his book of photography on Amazon and see the amazing work for yourself.Shadow Light: The Photography of Robert John Guttke
Do you have questions for Robert? I do!
Stay turned for an upcoming interview and and guest chat with the photographer himself. I’m sure we all want to know more about the man who gets to shoot photos like these.