(Glen Ridge, New York, 1933 – Sitges, Barcelona, 2016)

Raised in Fort Lauredale, Florida, Herbert Keeler-Klipstein, artistically known as Tony Keeler, began his photographic career in 1960, when he opened his first studio in Sitges, Barcelona.

Fresh off the boat, he found himself in an open and receptive environment where soon the word spread about a photographer whose portraits differed from the standard.

Keeler’s hyper-active eye continued working beyond the studio sessions. There was a universe out there, of interesting people to spot and capture, inspiring atmospheres to distill, rock and tree textures as fascinating as the wrinkles that map journeys on the faces of elderly people.

What motivated him?  A search for some sort of universal human essence that connects us all?  A need to communicate? Tony Keeler never articulated answers to these questions, as he was mainly driven by impulse and intuition.

His experimentation with different photographic mediums and techniques resulted in a range of different styles and themes. Thus, Keeler’s archives display grainy mysterious images alongside clear, realistic ones; in some, the tones are blended, while in others, the contrasts have been forced through the developing process; black and white prevails, but color is also an important feature.

Tony Keeler’s photographs are not easy to classify. However, there are recognizable traits across his entire work, which can be summed as a pursuit of visual poetry.