Everyone has heard of the Nobel Prize, yet many are unfamiliar with the faces of those who have won the honour. One man (other than the King of Sweden), who knows all the living Nobel laureates personally is Peter Badge, who has spent thirteen years travelling the world, on commission to photograph these respected and illustrious luminaries.To date, the Berlin photographer has met and photographed more than 400 of them, usually in locations they have chosen and in natural and relaxed poses that seem to bring their character to the fore. His project began in 2000 when he was commissioned by a number of renowned organisations including the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., and the Deutches Museum.
Ingenious Encounters is a unique collection. Lavishly illustrated with some amazing photographs, it is also a travel book, as Badge's meetings with the Nobel laureates were far more than just photo shoots. He took a look behind the scenes, got to know the people behind the achievements, and found himself in unusual situations. Recorded are some memorable moments in time; as in the the comic interview with schizophrenic John Nash, who was so wonderfully portrayed in the film A Beautiful Mind. There was an element of personal risk when he found himself in Moscow without a valid visa, looking for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. And there was the emotive shoot of Bruce Merrifield, at the end of his life, literally on his death-bed. Badge accompanied Jose´ Ramos-Horta on a state visit and Linda Buck, when she purchased her wedding dress: he overheard a tense telephone call between Frederik Willem de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.
Badge is a talented photographer but more than that, he is a perceptive observer of human nature and an ingenious storyteller. He and Sandra Zarrinbal give the reader an insight into their professional international network, they also share the motivation, the thinking, the reservations, the hopes, and day-to-day details that underpin their work.The result is a collective portrait with real historical value. A must-have for anyone interested in taking a closer look at the minds and personalities of the scientists, writers and fighters for peace and liberty who have been honoured with the Nobel Prize.