He was born in a small German village, in Oberhart, on 2 August 1945. His family fled from the war, and returned to Budapest after the end of the war. He received his high school diploma in 1964 from Kölcsey High School, and then completed his studies at the Photographers Vocational Training School. He began his career in 1971 with a Voigtlander camera he had received as a gift: for the first two years, he was an assistant reporter at the Budapest Photographers’ Co-operative, and then until 1979 he photographed at the Siderurgical Research Institute. From the mid-1980s he was a photojournalist for the weekly Képes 7, and later for Képes Európa, and then became a freelance photographer and artist. From the early 1990s, his technical repertoire extended from the various methods of camera obscura, through the historical photographic processes, all the way up to the Polaroid and digital photography. He always selects from his range of methods that which best suits his message. His assured knowledge and application of the old photographic techniques serves the sculptural visual representation of the uniquely “Kerekes” themes: birth, existence, death – the numerous elements of the micro- and macrocosm, and the unexploited realm of science. A special characteristic of Gábor Kerekes’s photographs is the respect for knowledge in the natural sciences, both in terms of subject matter and execution.
In 1977, he became a founding member of the Studio of Young Photographers (FFS), and from 1986, he became its artistic director. Later, he remained a determined devotee of creative, contemporary photographic tendencies of a European standard, and he instituted – in part with those from the Studio – the “+műhely” (workshop) grouping.
He continuously learns and teaches, experiments, and in a creative way employs the photographic techniques of older eras, amalgamating these with the possibilities given by the digital world; he perpetually observes himself critically, as well as the world around us. And he speaks to us about this in an extraordinarily concentrated, and abstract visual formulation.
Since 1980, he has been a member of the Hungarian Association of Photographers.
In 1981, he established the Dokumentum (Document) group with Antal Jokesz, János Szerencsés and János Vető.
He is a regularly exhibiting artist, both in Hungary and abroad. Since his 1977 show in the Ferencváros Pince (Cellar), up till the present day, he has had more than twenty solo exhibitions and has taken part in countless group shows.
In the brochure for his exhibition arranged at the 2011 FOTOFORUM in Innsbruck, the following is written: “From the very first moment, he has taken an entirely individual path, and his approach and creative habitude, and his photographs, have rendered him very quickly an essential figure of the world of photography. Due to his dedicated approach, and the complexity and quality of his artistic projects, he is considered a reference, also for the current generation.”
In 1990, he was recognised with a Balázs Béla Award, and in 2010 he was named Artist of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
His publications have come out in limited editions, through the Hungarian Museum of Photography.
His works are held in important European public and private collections: Galerie der Stadt, Esslingen; Hungarian Museum of Photography, Kecskemét; Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne; M. Ken Damy, Brescia; National Museum of Film, Television and Photography, Bradford, and the Körmendi-Csák Collection of 20th Century Hungarian Photography.