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Bjorn Sterri



Bjørn Sterri (b. 1960) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He has been documenting his family through photography for over 15 years through the use of both a Deardorff 8×10” and Polaroid SX70 camera. He attended two photography programs at the University of Arts and Craft in Stockholm, Sweden and at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has exhibited across Europe and the Americas with exhibitions at Galerie & Edition Stephan Witschi, Zurich, Switzerland; Museo de la Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Paris Photo, Paris, France; The International Photography Fair, Milan, Italy; and Museo de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina. His first monograph Polaroid Work was published by Pilver Press in 2010, followed by his second monograph, Family Photographs 2001–2014 (Pilver Press, 2014). His work has appeared in A1 Magazine, Emerging Photographer, Esquire Magazine, and Foto Mundo Magazine. 

For years Sterri has photographed his family, creating a portrayal of his wife, Alejandra and two sons, Jens Linus and Pablo, that is at once exacting, intimate, fictionalized, vulnerable, realistic and proud. His is a robust view of the idea of “family.” Sterri, playing the role of benevolent patriarch, has formed a group portrait of people stubbornly maintaining their identities while acknowledging their shared bonds without pretension. These issues of identity are not limited to familial ties but include the photographer’s as well. A large aspect of the work is comprised of self-portraits, both alone and with his family. 

Reflecting his approach to family life, Sterri practices photography with the same discipline, experimentation, refinement and sense of renewal. He imbues his family with emotions and reactions ranging from moody indifference to playful abandon, where all have signed off on the script. This extended essay is comprised of exquisitely toned gelatin silver prints from 8 x 10 inch negatives. The photographs render the endless possibilities of tone, depth and clarity, possible only with this combination of film and paper - photography’s most basic method. It is an approach Sterri has dedicated much of his efforts to, perfecting the results without being mechanical or trite. Sterri brings plasticity to the medium, bending and molding his images to his will.