In case you’re not aware, there’s a new niche of photography on the rise, “smartphone photography”. With Apple’s recent announcement of yet more improvements to the already outstanding iPhone camera, this new brand of photography should come as no surprise. Though smartphone cameras don’t (yet) rival the quality of digital SLRs, they have come a long way, and there’s something to be said for their accessibility and convenience. So, it’s no wonder visual artists are compelled to simply reach in their pocket when it’s time to capture some creative brilliance. New Jersey-based visual artist/photographer/college student Adam Hillman is a perfect example. While the quality of his conceptual thinking and execution are rooted in traditional visual art as we know it, part of what defines Hillman’s work is his use of his smartphone. For one, his photos are unedited… what you see is what you get. And with a broadcast vehicle (the great big internet) basically integrated into his tool of choice (smartphone), the accessibility of his work is a key part of its appeal. Hillman’s appreciation for modern art is clear, and his use of color and order are a real draw for us (see previous posts here and here and here). We will be interested to see how Hillman’s work evolves over time. From the look of it, he will be making a name for himself well beyond these early works.
Conceptual food photography has got to be one of our favorite niche disciplines lately, only confirmed by this excellent collaboration between Sydney-based creatives Enrico Becker and Matt Harris. Created as visuals to accompany editorial on genetically modified foods, these photos could easily stand on their own. We love the choice of colors and thoughtful compositions. The pastel tones of the produce, along with the bar codes of course, push the work into surreal territory. And quite effectively, we might add. In his own words, Becker explains, “As shooting style, we were going for a more pastel monochromatic still-life style approach. The end result of the shoot was combined in an awesome two-spread magazine layout with a well written article about genetically modified food by Matt Harris. The idea was to create a combination between the photography and the written text.” Oh, and did we mention these guys are also students? Nice work, by any measure.
We are particularly taken with artists who revamp and re-envision everyday objects (here and here and here), giving new meaning to something very familiar. Berlin-based multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Illenberger is particularly adept at this approach, and we especially like her work involving food (which is reminiscent of the great Brock Davis). Illenberger’s conceptual and compelling work is not simply photography, but also art and design. Well known Berlin-based blogger Mary Scherpe says it best, “With a focus on analog craftwork using everyday items, Sarah is renowned for creating vivid, witty images that open up new perspectives on seemingly familiar subjects. Her ability to transform ordinary materials into complex and unexpected visual experiences has been utilized to develop concepts for clients from the fields of culture and business in several countries. In her aim to explore the fertile overlap between art and design, she’s collaborated with numerous photographers and artists, and filled exhibition spaces with self-initiated projects in Paris, Tokyo, and Berlin.”
Prints available here.