Interview with artist Jan Prengel

Hello Jan! Thank you for taking time for that interview. How did you become photographer? Was it a long way to find yourself in art?


It's my pleasure!

The serious interest in photography came up during a trip to Paris in 2010. I photographed urban life with a small, simple digital camera. The images printed out afterwards ignited a fire in me and my path began. I decided to study photography.

Starting with commissioned photography for companies and architects, etc., I have implemented more and more of my own projects and developed my personal style.

But I think finding yourself in art is a never-ending process. As long as you change yourself, your artistic creation will also change and redefine from time to time.


The main subjects of your works are modern architecture and urban spaces. Why did you choose this particular direction in photography?


I have chosen these subjects for my work because they allow you to project your own visions and feelings onto them. They provide the visual basis for it. For example If you portray people, they bring their own complex story with them, which you cannot and should not suppress for your own ideas.

Minimalism is a rather subjective concept. It leaves a wide space for the viewer to perceive the work. What does minimalism mean to you? Why did you choose this concept?


For me, minimalism is more than just a visual aesthetic. Minimalism has a calming psychological impact on the subconscious. It leads to internal order. Similar to the feeling after you've tidied up your home.

I think the greatest lasting happiness is when all energies are balanced and minimalism is a good basis for that.


Who are your favorite photographers and where do you get inspiration to create?


Andreas Gursky, George Byrne, Josef Hoflehner.

My inspiration is a product of the totality of all external sensory stimuli as well as the mental processing of them. The thoughts often wander around for hours and you can only hope that something 'tangible' will emerge from it, an idea that can be realised.


External influences can be documentaries such as: Gerhard Richter - Painting, or the red light of a car park that falls into my girlfriend's apartment at night and creates a cinematic atmosphere.

How has the pandemic affected your creative process in terms of goal setting? How did you deal with lockdown and limitations of last year?


The restrictions of the pandemic made me dealt with new subjects. For example I created my series Plants from Space. There has been also a strong self-reflection and personal development that will give future projects additional levels and depth.

So there has been a positive impact on my work. Nevertheless, I long for the freedom to travel with the opportunity to discover new places and to get new influences on my photography.


What are your future photography plans and current projects you are working on.


I am working on projects with new concepts and themes where I include my recent thoughts and visions.

I don't want to be more specific about projects until they are finished.

You never know what the future will bring.

Instagram Jan Prengel @janprengel


Text by Lyubov Melnickowa @lumenicka

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