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Collecting Pentti: The Photographer's Photographer

photo-eye Gallery Collecting Pentti: The Photographer's Photographer We spoke with photo-eye Represented Artists Mitch Dobrowner and Brad Wilson about why they chose to collect prints by Pentti Sammallahti.

Pentti Sammallahti is renowned for his meticulously well-seen vignettes expressing delight and wonder for the world around us. Sometimes referred to as a "Photographer’s Photographer", Pentti’s rich silver-gelatin prints are coveted by collectors of all kinds including Henri Cartier-Bresson who named Sammallahti among his 100 favorite image-makers. In kind, photo-eye Represented Artists Mitch Dobrowner and Brad Wilson also own works by Pentti, and we reached out to them about why they chose to collect work by the Finnish photographer and what it means for them to live with a Pentti print.

Mitch Dobrowner

Druridge Bay, England, 1998 Gelatin-Silver Print, 7x6.3" Image, $1300  © Pentti Sammallahti
"There are days that I suffer from sensory overload — too much traffic, politics, the Internet, streaming media, television, opinions. 
Pentti’s work brings order, structure, quietness, and a sense of humor to my world. His images help ground me. When I look at Pentti's work I'm reminded to "wander the earth" and look closely at every detail that there is wonder all around me. The fact that Pentti is a wanderer not limited in his vision or insight is an inspiration. The 4"x4" print that I purchased 5+ years ago is one of the most beautiful prints that I have ever seen. It also confirms that large prints aren't always better but that there is certain intimacy to a small print. I don't look at a lot of other photographers work, but Pentti's work is special and unique. His print in my living room, I look at it everyday." – Mitch Dobrowner
Mitch Dobrowner reviewing Pentti Sammallahti prints with
Anne Kelly during photo LA 2011.

Mitch Dobrowner is a photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. His dramatic landscape and storm images are in the permanent collections of the Houston Museum of Fine Art and the Portland Museum of Art, among others, and have been featured in publications such as National Geographic.

View Work by Mitch Dobrowner

Purchase Monograph by Mitch Dobrowner

Brad Wilson  

Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992 Gelatin-Silver Print, 5.8x14" Image, $1800
"The first time I saw Pentti Sammallahti’s work (at PhotoEye Gallery), I was immediately pulled in by the warm, luminous prints and the moody, end-of-day atmospheres represented in many of his images. The compositions immediately spoke to me as well - lone human figures or animals quietly placed in expansive landscapes that touched on the theme of universal isolation in the face of a vast natural world - something I had explored in my own work. I ended up purchasing two pieces: Cilento, Italy, and Solovki, White Sea, Russia. They have been hanging on my wall for years and I still find them to be timeless and moving - despite seeing them every day." – Brad Wilson

Wilson on location with an African Elephant
in a Los Angeles studio, 2010.
Brad Wilson is best known for Affinity, a series of exquisitely detailed animal portraits. Wilson has exhibited both nationally and internationally including Photo LA, Art Beijing, and AAF London. His work has been widely published around the world, appearing in numerous advertising campaigns, magazines, annual reports, and music packages. Brad lives and works in Santa Fe,  New Mexico.

View Work by Brad Wilson

Purchase the WILD LIFE  Book 

Warm Regards by Pentti Sammallahti is currently on view 
at photo-eye Gallery through Saturday, July 1st.  

For more information and to purchase prints please contact Gallery Staff at 
505.988.5152 x 202 or