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Stephan Brecht, Bride and Groom by Arthur Tress, 1971

The work of the American photographer Arthur Tress spans photojournalism, surrealism, eroticism, staged and manipulated imagery.

Tress’ images often combine real and imagined worlds. This portrait of Stephan Brecht as simultaneously bride and groom, framed by a wrecked church, offers commentary on marriage and gender whilst also creating a sense of magical realism. Tress said of his work, ‘Photography is my method for defining the confusing world that rushes constantly toward me. It is my defensive attempt to reduce our daily chaos to a set of understandable images. My urge to photograph is activated by an almost biological instinct for self-preservation from disorder.’

Stephan Brecht, Bride and Groom by Arthur Tress, 1971
Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of David Knaus
Museum number: E.576-2001 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2001

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Earth Day issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, 1970

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