Squeaking tires, howling sirens and elegant street cruisers: that's what the chase between gangsters and cops used to look like during the golden years of gangster films. The unforgettable ambience of that cinematic era is reflected upon in the work of photo artist Eric Otto. Otto stages his photographs with great attention to detail, which is sometimes not apparent at first glance. The glamorous automobiles in his works are actually model vehicles, typically at scale 1:43. For the most part they are handmade, rare and expensive collector's items that are not easy to find.The artist seeks the ideal perspective in front of monumental architectural motifs, which sometimes forces him to lay upon the ground. If the image is to convince the observer at first sight, the proportions need to be just right. But for Otto perspective is only part of the work, ambience plays a key role as well. There needs to be an element of gloominess – like in those classic films – that’s why he prefers to work in the evening.
When day passes and night falls, that’s when Eric Otto can find the right mood for his shots. The atmospheric light allows tension and drama to boil, the artwork becomes an impressive homage to the aesthetics of gangster films, and Otto reveals the undeniable link between photography and cinematography. Eric Otto is a passionate admirer of 60s and 70s cinema and car design. Like a film director, he takes time to find the perfect location and perspective to achieve a distinct atmosphere in his creations. The photographs are always taken in front of real landscapes, with well-known motifs such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.The project started with his first exhibition La French Connection in 2006, and later spawned several other exhibitions within Europe, such as In Car Nation, Car is Matic, and L'Époque Noire in 2018.
"Gangsters drove beautiful cars."