Markus Lindstrom, born in 2003 (Stockholm, Sweden) doesn’t see the world the same way as we others. He happens to be born with autism, mild retardation, language disorder and ADHD and a diagnosis he invented himself “IM”. IM stands for “Inge’ Mer”, according to Markus, which in English means “Nothin’ More”. He’s always been taking pictures with his cell phone and when you look at his pictures they are often very different – and very good. Recently he got a very good camera (a Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)) to use for his art. Markus loves his camera and the positive attention his pictures draws. People like Markus don’t get much positive attention otherwise. He’s very determined and knows exactly what pictures are worth working on.
INGE’MER is the theme for his pictures. The diagnoses don’t stop him from sharing his world. He takes pictures – of almost everything and all the time – and the good thing is that cameras don’t care about neuro-psychological diagnoses. Markus is special – just as his pictures. Markus has an upcoming exhibition at the Van der Plas Gallery in New York City Opening April 19 trough April 30.
What camera and equipment do you use? Specifically, Leica equipment.
“A Leica (D-LUX 109) and a small flash I put on top”.
He used to take pictures with his cellphone. When I saw his pictures I thought they where very different – and good. So I thought I’d buy him a good camera. I should be of high quality and easy to use. I choosed a Leica. Another reason was that I wanted him feel and also look professional. A guy with a Leica looks like he knows what he’s doing. He often takes pictures in poor lighting conditions so the next step in the future perhaps would be a Leica TL. A larger sensor would also be good when making prints for exhibitions.
How would you describe your photography?
“I take pictures of things I like”.
Markus is very serious about his photography. He takes his time when composing his pictures. He treasures his camera and as many autistic persons he narrows down on one specific interest, in his case photography.
When did you first become interested in photography as a mode of expression, and art form, a profession?
“I have always taken pictures with my cell phone. Then I got a real camera”
Did you have any formal education in photography, with a mentor, or were you self taught. Was there a photographer or type of photography that influenced your work or inspired you?
“I taught myself. I get some help from Håkan when we edit my pictures. What is influences? I just take pictures of what I see”.
Maybe this is his highest quality. He has no idea about other photographers or how a “good” picture is supposed to look like. His pictures are just his vision of the world around him totally unfiltered by conventions or even the desire to please others with his pictures.
What genre are your photos? (e.g. fine art, photojournalism, portrait, street photography, etc).
“I said, I take pictures of what I see”.
It’s hard to put his work in a category but perhaps it’s somewhere between Fine Art and street.
Q: What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?
“The pictures look like my world”