I know some of these people - no, we may not be friends, but we meet in Celje, the city of my youth which is steadily becoming the city of my old age. Nothing can drag me away!
I greet some of them because we are old City friends. These are my peer group – every person has their own gang. We went to school together and joined forces to steal the neighbor's cherries. Others are new acquaintances and I recognize their faces even if i do not remember their names. To some I give a glancing look simply because something about them catches my eye.
Only a few of them are familiar. Maybe the rest are not original Celje folk, maybe they are just passing through. Visiting family, or maybe the doctor. Or do I simply overlook them because I am so deeply absorbed in my thoughts?
Not Robert Hutinski! He has decided to ensure these remarkable citizen's place in the history books. His work at first glance seems to be easy enough. You sit down, relax, grab a beer, light a cigarette and wait for the right moment to arrive. Suddenly, you find it – the perfect subject - you put out your cigarette, jump up and abandon everything. This is it - this is the right one. Seeking permission, sometimes only by eye contact, then the snapping starts…usually just one or two shots. That is all that is needed - he is completely aware of the light conditions and background. Celje is after all his city and the city itself is imprinted on his soul.
In all weathers he has spent hours roaming alone, like a drifter in search of the perfect subject.
The technique of low edge depth isolates the subjects,editing the pictures emphasizes their movement. But, what cannot be seen on the shot is the photographer's main strength – his ability to recognize the most appropriate person within a crowd.
These portraits could be pictured anywhere –the location is a mystery because of the blurred background. Celje itself is not revealed on the photographs. These pictures are not intended as a postcard of the city but exist to highlight the people of Celje. These images portray a declining species,ghosts disappearing with the town's old heart. Robert Hutinski's Celje portraits are a tribute to Celje and it's residents. His work has ensured that the memory of the people that lived and worked here well before the city was overrun with shopping centers is preserved forever.
Some of them are smiling, some of them give me just a hint of their smile…. I wonder what they are thinking?


Marko Rebov