Luke Stepheson is slowly but surely clambering his way to
the very top of my list of new favorite photographers.
It all started with these chirpy little pictures of
posturing parakeets and sassy show birds. Then it escalated with this grab bag
of ice creams vans.And it truly came to
a head with the discovery of his excellent documentation of – yes! yes! yes! – The World Beard and Moustache Championships.
Like an everlasting Gobstopper, the joy of Stephenson’s work
is breaking through each candy colour layer and finding that even better,
tastier surprises are still to come. Take a trip to his website and you’ll be
treated to a milieu of delightful projects, including a catalogue of balloon
animals, circus marionettes, darts champions, face painters, and something
called “clown eggs” (which are so brilliant I won’t spoil it for you). It’s his
capacity to capture the quirky and multivariate - what he calls “the
eccentricity of Britain” - with a universal affection and lightweight
pleasantness that makes his work accessible, yet without ready definition.
Making it all look so simple actually take a great deal of
talent. And giving life to the inanimate and dignity to the bizarre… well, that
the kind of talent that makes Luke Stephenson pretty memorable.
Aurelien Juner’s Surface
series is a wickedly subversive take on the fashion glossy – mixed medium, 3D
collage pieces, photographed to perfection, witty and provocative.
Maybe it’s the whole perfect/imperfect thing, maybe it’s
just the joy of seeing a cheap cheeseburger so perfectly plunked on the corner
of Vogue, but these really do it for me.
For all the easy pleasure that fashion spreads afford, Juner
is pleasingly adroit at articulating the more cerebral side of his work. As he puts it:
"Surface is a
personal photographic réflexion on the function of fashion magazine as a medium
of dissemination of "mass culture" images and its relation to reality
- questioning the status of the fictional world and idealized created for the
magazine, and its relationship to the real world where the image is built."
Visual punch with underlying social commentary. Yes please!
Holdsworth’s vacant C-prints make modern heroes out of familiar American sites –
Salt Lake City, Yosemite, The Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens - reinventing
geologically tumultuous landscapes as expanses of serenity, without sacrificing
colour, the brightness dial on full whack, it’s easy to imagine Holdsworth as an astronaut recently returned from deep space exploration, his camera a vessel
bearing images of unchanging alien landscapes where sound travels long and far
in a dense-less air.
you remember it’s only Salt Lake City. And you realize what an impressive photo-man
Mr. Holdworth really is.
Oh, Liam Stevens. You make the kind of drawings that I used to love to make. The kind where every fantastical set piece in the natural world conviened to create divine and perfect landscapes where waterfalls and trees and pirate ships and little villages and ponds with rowboats all coexisted in invincible harmony. The kind of drawings that spoke of quietude and narrative, without saying a word at all.
Only yours are so much better than mine ever were. Which is why I'll spend my time pining for your pine forests. They seem so real...
Liam cuts paper and makes animations too! Check them out here.