Saturday 11 August 2012

John Arthur Liebenberg | South African Best Photographers

I just love John Arthur Liebenberg's work he is one of the finest South African photographers I have been exposed to so far.

I got to know John from social events and always thought this man is such a vulture the way he was targeted when cornering and snapping his subjects at parties. He would know which celeb he wanted to photograph and just went for the kill.

I was in Windhoek - Namibia last year when I heard John was going to be giving an evening guest lecturer at Polytechnic in Windhoek. As there really isn’t much to do that side of the map I was excited to jot down something in my social diary and mostly excited to have a Joburger in town and I knew John would be filled with stories to share!

He shared stories from the time he photographed the The Angolan Civil War, with SADF , SWAPO, MPL, Soviet Union all in the mix! And all this archives of imagery together with Patricia Hayes the wordsmith they turned all this magic in to a book called; BUSH OF GHOSTS. Buy the book HERE

He made world headlines when he was arrested twice for trespassing and stalking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie when they were in Namibia a few years back; How G can it get!

I stand to be corrected but I heard, John is also banned from ever setting foot in Sun City because he was all fierce tryna take a picture of Oprah Winfrey or Michael Jackson sometime in the 80s or 90s! I must ask him Whats The T with that tale! I really think he told me this, I must really ask him!

“Bush of Ghosts eloquently, perhaps chillingly might be a more adequate adjective, showcases the photographs of John Liebenberg with an essay by Patricia Hayes. The subtitle is ‘Life and War in Namibia 1986 – 1990’ which is the period these images cover. He had first been in the area in 1976 as a conscript in the South African army. This photographic record covers the period when Liebenberg worked with the independent newspaper The Namibian as a photographer.” – Philip Todres

That’s why I just love John he has all this cray cray stories. I would like to chill out with him for a day and hear all his crazy story as a war, social, celebrity, paparazzi, photo-journalist photographer, The tail spin tale might just inspire me to pen down an autobiography of this legend!

So I was quite excited to corner him and photograph him at the Wrangler Launch a few weeks back and pay homage to homeboy!


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