MOSER albert

1928 . trenton (new jersey) . usa

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After finishing the ninth grade, Albert Moser joined the US Army and was sent to Japan for eighteen months as part of America’s occupying force after World War II. In March 1948, he traveled back to the United States and worked a number of odd jobs, including a short stint at the candy counter of a department store in Trenton. In January 1960, Moser enrolled in a photography course at The School of Industrial Arts under the American G.I. Bill. He completed the course in nine months, receiving a diploma that marked the beginning of a long career as a photographer. Those nine months at the School of Industrial Arts were the only formal training Moser ever received in photography, but it was enough to reinforce his nascent interest in the medium. Moser seems to have identified himself, first and foremost, as a photographer, joining the Trenton Camera Club and investing in various cameras, lenses, filters, and other photographic gear. In the early 1970s, Moser began making panoramic composite photographs of landscapes, cities, and other places that he liked to visit. Having chosen a particular view, Moser would slowly turn his camera, taking as many as thirty pictures from his position. He meticulously aligned the resulting photographs and joined them together using scotch or masking tape. Moser’s panoramas are dominated by cityscapes and skylines but occasionally feature residential neighborhoods or beachfront scenes. People appear in the photographs only as part of the larger setting, and they are rarely mentioned in the detailed descriptions that Moser neatly composed on the back of every photograph. Most of his photos also bear a custom ink stamp that reads “Albert Moser, Photographer, 58 Beechwood Ave., Trenton, N.J.” Moser’s work as an artist and photographer revolves around a constant seeking of equilibrium, balance, and structure in a world that is chaotic and fluid. He is naturally drawn to buses, trains, and other things that function on schedules or that have static routes. In the same vein, Moser seeks out buildings and outdoor structures that are permanently posed in the landscape— willing subjects for a deliberate and precise photographer. The process of creating a panorama must be cathartic for Moser, allowing him to sit down and calmly piece together all of the chaos of the city into a neat row of pictures— quiet and still.

written by Phillip March Jones