Andy Summers. A Certain Strangeness

through 5 October 2022 // Ernst-Leitz-Museum, Wetzlar

The Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar is presenting A Certain Strangeness, an extensive retrospective of photographer and musician Andy Summers, until 5 October 2022.

The artist Andy Summers (*1942, Blackpool, UK) is a true multi-talent who has made his passion for music and photography his profession for more than 40 years. While in his teens, Summers earned his pocket money as a beach photographer; in 1979, he took up photography again when he went on tour with his band The Police. Summers captured the delirious energy of concertgoers, the vibrant cities of the tour schedule, and the nighttime excursions. His photos quickly became a “cool visual counterpart to the music.”

In this exhibition, we accompany the interdisciplinary artist on his journeys from the Altiplano in Bolivia to the narrow streets of Tokyo. With a keen eye for surrealistic details, he captures magical moments that recede into the night or vanish in the blink of an eye. Summers brings us closer to his vision with a dense visual diary spanning minimalistic compositions and heightened narratives in black and white.

The second featured series takes us up close and personal with the legendary band The Police. Summers joined it as a guitarist in 1977 and, together with Sting and Stewart Copeland, made music history as one of the most influential bands of the British New Wave. Summers takes us on stage and behind the scenes, aboard the tour bus with the landscape rushing by and enjoying candid moments of respite between gigs.

In addition to his autobiographical film, Can’t Stand Losing You, Andy Summers has published four photography books – Throb (1983), Light Strings (2004), I’ll Be Watching You (2007), and Desirer Walks the Street (2009) – as well as the memoir One Train Later (2006), and the short story collection Fretted and Moaning (2021).

After The Police disbanded in 2008, Summers continued his solo career. His Leica M4-2, which was recommended to him by his close friend Ralph Gibson, remains his constant companion.

Parallel to his photography exhibitions planned throughout Europe, Andy Summers will tour Europe in 2022/2023 with his multimedia show Harmonics of the Night.