Black and white fine art photography is one of my favorite art forms and Phil Borges is no doubt one of the greats. When he came to town, I first met him at the gallery in La Jolla cove. Phil is a very easy going man. His personality puts up no fronts and so you feel you know him instantly. As we walked down Prospect Street on our way for dinner at one of my favorite La Jolla restaurants (Roppongi), we spoke as we had known each other for years. We spoke about his books, Tibetan Portrait, Enduring Spirit and Women Empowered and the powerful images in each of them. Phil Borges works are about much more than just the images though, as is the case with most photography. Behind each photographic image is an amazing story.
For anyone who has ever seen Phil’s art works, you know that each and every shot he does captures an amazing essence and energy from its subject. I am not just saying this either. In the gallery, there are more man ours spend gazing at the works on his wall than any other wall in the gallery. Some people will stand there and marvel at the works for hours (and we have only a handful of the amazing shots from his complete collection.
It is rare for me to see a person come through the gallery that is not drawn to his art work in a profound and personal way; his work touches you. As I got to know Phil better, I realized the magic he draws from his subjects is really a part of the way he is personally able to break through any kind of barriers with anyone. This is true regardless of language (or other) barriers that might exist. A deep compassion bubbles up from him that is felt right off.
The modern black and white photography landscape has been shaped largely by the greats early in the last century who used large format view cameras to capture their amazing images of the American West. Phil Borges uses a variety of cameras, but most commonly he uses a 2.25 inch format camera such as the Hasselblad.
Phil Borges area of focus is modern black and white portrait photography. Up until very recently, he has been very purist about using only film and special Kodak papers. However, as the availability of these materials has diminished to the point he can no longer reliably get them, he has been forced to start doing some of his work in black and white digital photography.
Another amazing dimension of Phil Borges work his involvement in the support of indigenous cultures around the world. In fact, Phil is an altruist, humanitarian and is devoted to spreading the message of cultural diversity. It just so happens he uses his fine art black and white photography as his medium for spreading this message. Phil has worked in conjunction with a number of charities such as Amnesty International, CARE and others in order to send some much needed revenues back into the areas where he has acquired his incredible black and white figure photography images.
The message of Phil’s work therefore, comes together at a variety of levels to be what it is. Whether it be the story telling, the art, a humanitarian cause and any number of other ways his message weaves together into a cohesive fine art form and cultural message. It is very rare to meet an artist who’s work and message is so driven at so many deeply connected ways.
There is another part of Phil Borges work that deserves mention. On top of all the other factors, Phil’s work has tremendous value for the fine art collector. I have personally watched his any number of his works escalate from a low level starting price of less than $1500 or so, to escalate to as high as $17,000 in value.
At the gallery, we serve more black and white photography collectors in pursuit of Phils work than any other gallery in the world. Our black and white photography website offers the full collection of Phil Borges works and our staff is the most knowledgeable in the world on his amazing black and white fine art photography.
As we finished our meal and headed back to the art show at the gallery featuring Phil Borges work (in conjunction with CARE) where a huge crowd awaited him, I marveled at the stories he shared with me and the experiences he had in traveling to exotic uncharted corners of the world to meet special people of indigenous cultures around the world.
Phil Borges is a magnet personality with a huge message about where and what and who we are in the world. His works have value that touches your heart and invests well. But you don’t have to meet and have dinner with this precious man as I was privledged to do in order for his amazing works to touch your heart. You can experience this heartfelt essence in every one of his black and white photograpic works of art.
Written by Rob Mitchell