Michael Poliza
  • Introduction

  • CV

  • Exhibitions

“Classic Africa”

Africa’s wild animals, the vastness of the arctic, and, above all, the earth’s inexhaustible reservoir of forms and colours: These are the phenomena that lead Michael Poliza to begin taking photos of nature and animals from a helicopter. Now he has chosen to present eight striking portraits of individual animals from his “Classic Series.” These black and white shots of predatory cats, giraffes, and elephants vary in their composition, but share a gentle, almost vintage quality: The lion’s mane appears shaggier, the eyes of the leopard glossier. It is as if a trace of wild photography is lurking behind the portrayal of these wild animals.

Stephan Reisner

When someone goes on a journey, he has something to show. Michael Poliza (*1958) went on an eight-week journey with his friend Stefan Breuer, an astounding and unusual adventure from Hamburg to Cape Town by helicopter, with about 150 stops in approximately 14 countries. The result is an unprecedented collection of landscape and animal photographs taken from a bird's eye view. Panoramic scenes alternate with close-ups: flocks of birds and geometric fields; majestic mountains and wandering droves of wild animals show the other side of the continent. He discovered living beauty at its best and purest, though the trip was by no means easy – Poliza told Stern magazine, "Luck is when good preparation and opportunity meet." It is clear from his achievements that in addition to being blessed by the winds of chance, he was in a state of perpetual readiness and aesthetic appetite. He appears to hover above the landscape without a sound, like a predator for its prey, waiting for the right moment when light and motif coincide perfectly. What is essential for him is the artist’s "total integration with the laws of the wild, with nature itself." The harvest the photographer brings to us from Africa clearly shows the respect he has for the dignity of the continent, its landscape and wildlife. And somehow Poliza’s photographs remind us of the images that Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) encountered from his small propeller plane when flying to his lover Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) on her farm in the Kenyan White Highlands. And of the last scene in the film “Out of Africa” by Sydney Pollack when the camera moves over the grave where Denys, after his fatal plane crash, is buried, into the endless breadth of landscape, while the lion, the soul of the continent embodies Denys or perhaps even both.

1958Born in Hamburg
1976Actor in numerous television series and films, including:
1970Keiner erbt für sich allein (TV-Film)
Die Journalistin (TV-Series)
1971Hamburg Transit (TV-Series)
Hänsel und Gretel
1972Rabe, Pilz & dreizehn Stühle (TV-Series)
Unsere heile Welt (TV-Series)
Wir 13 sind 17 (TV-Series)
Das Kurheim (TV-Series)
1975Tadellöser & Wolff (TV-Film)
Exchange student in Texas, USA
1976Gesucht wird... (TV-Series)
Schaurige Geschichten (TV-Series)
1976 – 1979High School diploma in Dallas, Texas followed by computer science studies in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1980 – 1996Entrepreneurial work in the IT sector as the founder of a company, programmer and consultant
1997Sale of the IT company
1998 – 2001Starship Millennium Voyage – Around the World in 1000 Days
2001Moved to Cape Town, South Africa
2006Published the Photo book “AFRICA”
20068-week helicopter journey from Hamburg, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa
2008Published the photo book “EYES OVER AFRICA”
Received the International Photography Award 2008 USA, the Deutschen Fotobuchpreis 2008 and the Preis der Internationalen Kalenderschau 2008
2009Returned to Hamburg opened the gallery, Michael Poliza Photography
Published the photo book “ANTARCTIC”
Publikation des Fotobands „ANTARCTIC“
2010Published the photo book “SOUTH AFRICA”
Published the photo book “CLASSIC AFRICA”
Launched the limited “CLASSIC AFRICA” collection with the CLOSED fashion label
2011Published the photo book “KENYA”
Awarded “Nature’s Best Photography” in the Windland Smith Rice International Award 2011
Founded the business “Michael Poliza LLC”
2012Launched the brand “Michael Poliza Experiences” in cooperation with the TUI Deutschland LLC

Exhibitions (Selection)

2013Galerie Michael Poliza, Hamburg
2012Museum Haus Beda, Bitburg
Galerie Cimmic, Vienna
Konica Minolta Gallery, Tokyo
Markenfilm, Hamburg
2011Open Air, Art Week Hamburg, Hamburg
National Geographic, London
Westin Grand, Munich
Galerie Michael Poliza, Hamburg
St. Regis, Mallorca
2010Ogenlust, Veldhoven, Holland
Galerie Michael Poliza, Hamburg
Brucie Collection, Kiew, Ukraine
von Heintze, Berlin
2009Galerie Kirsten Roschlaub, Hamburg
Galerie Michael Poliza, Hamburg
Westin Grand, Munich
2006Camera Work, Berlin

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