Photographer: Lisa Saltzman
Heidi: How did your parents’ art patronage influence you, did you gravitate towards a specific genre of art?
Lisa: My parents’ art patronage had a profound, immeasurable influence on me. Their passion for art was intoxicating. Growing up with it and always being surrounded by it left an indelible imprint. Their collection is truly eclectic but there is a predominance of the human form. There is that predominance in my art.
How the collection shaped your own creativity?
My parents very eclectic collection with a predominance of the human form was ingrained in me, it was completely immersive. I know that kind of exposure was definitely the catalyst. Their passion for art was relentless; it was complete joy for them. The collection is comprised of a lot of sculpture and I have been told that a lot of my work appears sculptural. The three dimensional form of their sculpture informed my two dimensional photography, I see form and movement. I am grateful to have that exposure and parents so connected to art. My sister was also a photographer and photo editor, we both pursued creative endeavors, when I reflect on this, it makes sense.
I have established The Saltzman Family Foundation in honor of my father to perpetuate his legacy and recently established the Ralph Saltzman Prize at the Design Museum in London, it’s a prize for emerging designers. To me, this was another way for me to express my love and admiration for his impact as a father, a mentor and visionaire. These qualities braided together helped me develop as an artist and photographer.
When did you make the transition from creative agency to creator or photographer?
Having founded an advertising/promotional merchandise company and working with very high profile brands I understand brand identity. It was several years later that I decided to apply that knowledge and create as a photographer. I owe so much to my Father and am so grateful as he had a tremendous impact on my career, I am the fortunate recipient, he was a pioneer and innovator in design, his acumen, passion and love of art was unrivaled. He bought me my first camera and tripod when I was 9, the tripod was almost as tall as me. Both my parents have incredible taste.
Where did your love of street photography develop? or how did the streets of NY inform your eye?
Born and raised in New York, I have always been part of the hustle of New York. The energy on the streets is ripe for photographic exploration. Much of my art focuses, pun intended, on the quotidien passerby. We can never fully engage the people we pass by, I don’t want to lose sight of that fact. Capturing my subjects the way I do ,in the midst of their fleetingness, where time is slightly stretched, renders them extraordinary, unfamiliar, with no possibility of recognition but also strangely sculptural.
When and why did you choose to explore color?
Much of my photography focuses Black and White but this prestigious award affirmed my use of color.
In the series City Anonymity® did you visit the same area over and over again?
I see the stairs as a recurring element. City Anonymity® depicts my images on the streets of New York, there is so much opportunity and possibility, there is one particular location that was exceptionally magical. I am looking forward to the next one.
In a time when we’ve been isolated due to the pandemic, what do you hope these images resurrect?
I believe my photographs bring us back to pre pandemic times, kinetic energy and a lot of movement
Where do you hope to see this body of work evolve?
I hope that my work can be incorporated in editorial and branding.