Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Churches Ad Hoc: A Divine Comedy

"Churches Ad Hoc: A Divine Comedy" is the title of a book of photography by new friend Herman Krieger. The photos capture the comical visual aspects of some churches, but I get no sense of disrespect here.

A reviewer for the New York Times, Rebecca Fairley Raney, wrote that the "sometimes irreverent photo essay on churches draws a variety of responses. Christians see devotion. Atheists see satire. Photographers see artistry."

I see - and like - all three aspects. I first became aware of Herman Krieger's photography, and interesting life, when he left a comment here on our Guestbook. He wrote a very simple note:

Web site of possible interest: Photo essays in black and white: Some of the photos were made in Chicago. 

He wasn't trying to sell anything. He just wants to share his stunning photography with the world. He did not mention his book. I wrote to him and asked if his photography was for sale.

His quick response: "The book is still available thru My web site is not commercial. I don't offer photos for sale. Sometimes at an exhibition, a photo may carry a price, but generally I don't sell the photos. When I have extra copies, I give them away. When I worked in photography, I rarely made photos for myself. The were always made for a customer or my employer. If I print a photo for money, I feel I am working for the buyer, and that takes the fun out of it. The only biography available is the bio on my web site. Herman"

A true artist, Krieger does it for the love of his art. So I take it upon myself to hawk his book, available at At the risk of contradicting myself, I'll also let you know that his photo essay "Churches Ad Hoc: A Divine Comedy" can be seen for free on his web site. Still, I would encourage you to buy his book. It would make a stunning gift or addition to your bookshelf.

Krieger's web site is beautiful. While you're there, be sure to check out his amazing biography.