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Friðgeir Helgason was born on the small island of Vestmannaeyjar off the south coast of Iceland. At 6 years old, he and his family were evacuated to escape a volcanic eruption that in the weeks that followed, lead to the loss of their home.
He spent most of his formative years in Reykjavík with summer breaks spent at sea working on fishing trawlers and merchant marine ships. Friðgeir dropped out of school when the Prime Minister of Iceland, Steingrimur Hermansson, gave him a ticket to Europe for winning the equivalent of Rock n’ Roll Jeopardy. He set off to see the world.
Friðgeir first visited the United States as a tourist, arriving on Christmas Day. Within a few years, he was living in Louisiana, working as a promising young chef in New Orleans.
My favorite thing in the world to do is to wander the endless highways of the US.
I often say that ”I am a photographer, so I have an excuse to hit the road and explore the world”
What resonates with me about the land in New Mexico are the similarities I find here with my native country Iceland. Baren and unforgiving landscape that is full of magic and beauty and the big open dramatic and melancholy sky.
There is always the underlying thread in my work. Man’s futile attempt to control and shape nature. After all, Nature is the ultimate force.
Friðgeir Helgason shoots film on a 6×7 Medium Format Camera and a 4×5 Large Format Camera. He prints in both color and black and white.