A Life in Grayscale: Gunnar Smoliansky

More than 65 years after he started taking photographs, Gunnar Smoliansky continues to make intricate studies in grandiose minimalism.

What was your first encounter with photography?

I was born on a small island, Lidingö, in the Swedish archipelago and moved with my parents to Saltsjö-boo, just outside of Stockholm, when I was 2 years old. I had a friend there and we were hanging out one night when he asked me if I wanted to see some photographs he’d taken. He showed me how to develop film, standing over the bowl and watching the photograph appear from the liquid. I was in awe. A few years later, I was working as a customs officer at the harbor in Stockholm, controlling the docks and making sure that sailors weren’t smuggling illegal goods into the country. A sailor approached me one night and we struck up a conversation. I saw that he had a camera on him and I still hadn’t let go of that night with my friend in ...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)