Hatsune and Kyary in Tokyo

Whilst in Japan I tried to take a photo of anything Hatsune Miku related I saw, just to document her dominance in Japan and get first hand research for my interchangeable looks idea. I soon realised photographing everything was unrealistic, I tried my best but this is a tiny percentage of the Miku stuff around Japan, not including her official merchandise inside shops. Note that these images are from all districts, even the expensive Chelsea-like district of Shibuya.

I attempted to take photos of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s presense in Japan too, but this was nearly impossible. She was on the trains, in the shops on the streets on the TV on the billboards. Everywhere there was a place for advertisement or any pop culture areas she was everywhere.

What I oped to achieve with this research was to prove that pop culture icons change their looks to fit consumerism. They become what they are needed to be rarely wearing the same thing twice, they are what the advertisers want and what the consumer needs them to be.

Adam Hinton – Lovin’ It

image (3)

Adam Hinton’s book ‘Lovin’ it’ initially caught my attention because of the book title. The iconic McDonalds catchphrase paired with the city lights instantly made me think about consumerism and advertising. The book is Hinton’s exploration of Shanghai, China. His work aims to comment on the drastic social changes occurring in Japan during 2004-2007 when these images were taken. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of technology and consumerist culture Hinton looks at how the speed of change is having a darker effect on Shanghai.

Some images are even paired with quotations from communist leader Mao Zedong. Who’s government rule led to the death of millions of citizens. Hinton uses these quotes to relate to China’s current situation to that of Hinton’s ruling. All the sudden drastic changes mean people and places get left behind.

The other aspect that drew me to this book is the styling. There is something quite surreal about the use of night/ twilight. Maybe it stems from the relationship between the content and the primary lighting coming from technology. I have explored this before in my series Digital Rest. Technology as a lighting source fascinates me, especially when it’s relative to the content.

“The neon lights from the shops and adverts produce this surreal manufactured environment which creates this feeling of hyper-reality.”
– A quote from An interview with photographer Adam Hinton by Nigel Warburton.

Hinton also explains how the lighting creates a hyper-reality, one of the key themes in my work, and from this book I can see that surreal nature that first drew me to the book does have an alternate/hyper reality feel to it. The use of night time and twilight paired with advertising lighting is something I need to explore more. Maybe through work that has nothing to do with consumerism. Detach the content and focus on how the styling effects the sincerity of the image.

In another interview Hinton talks more specifically about the consumerist influence of the project. You can read the full interview here.

 

Alex Gross

“Bizarro” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Leia’s Very Bad Day” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Peter” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Batman” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches

Alex Gross’s mixed media pieces take vintage cabinet photos and transforms them into modern pop culture icons through paint. The majority of the photographs are transformed into fictional characters from comic books, by transforming sepia, simple images into fantasy like images completely transforms the purpose of the subject. A person who is forgotten in time, and a family photo which has somehow become lost suddenly is given an identity and use, in a way it is comforting as well as comical.

Los angeles-based artist alex gross has created a collection of reconfigured cabinet cards from the late 19th and early 20th century.
the vintage photographs have been altered by means of mixed media to portray the figure depicted the image as an imagined or
contemporary comic book super hero. the photographs, originally a commercial printed portrait standard forms gross’ collection.
The cabinet cards will be on display along with nineteen new mixed media pieces in gross’ solo exhibition ‘product placement’
at jonathan levine gallery in new york city beginning february 25th, 2012.

– http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/18839/alex-gross-reconfigured-cabinet-cards.html

Product Placement @ Jonathan LeVine gallery

February 25, 2012 through March 24, 2012

Product Placement is a solo exhibition by Alex Gross featuring his painting and his multi-media art, looking at consumerism, pop culture, and branding.

Here are some of his paintings…

 

 

A variety of current commercial fashion Ads

Topshop spring 2009
Topshopspring-summer 2011
New look Spring 2010
River Island Winter 2011

Levis

 So the point of commercial advertising is to sell a product, but in this case it’s to sell the quality of the university, for this reason  i think the shoot will be more about aesthetics then concept. Maybe a slight narrative should be applied to gain a little bit of an edge. But light will be the main focus, creating a beautifully lit image, for this reason I should probably start looking at photographers who use light in different ways, doesn’t matter if its fashion or not.

More of Peter Lippmans work

so to gather a better knowledge of Lippmann’s intentions in his advertising work and strong fine art influence i thought its probably best to look at all of his work to see wether paintings are an influence that is restricted to his work for Louboutin or not.

Personal Work

    

  

I can’t help but to think of Edward Weston When i see these images, partly because he’s one of the only floral photographers i’ve seen but because of the concentration on tone, texture and shape which give these and Westons image depth and beauty.

A combination of the Angle, colours and lighting makes me think that Lippmann may have been making a reference between the cigarette and pollution.

More Comercial Work

-CARTIER ART MAGAZINE – when i think of what influences this series had, one word comes to mind, surrealism, wether it be Mc Escher’s reflections, Salvador Dali’s melting clocks or Alice in wonderland, there is no doubt these images are surreal and show how yet again Lippmann has taken a strong influence from fine art.

Landscapes

Wether it was on purpose or not, these landscapes reflect the textures and movements of Romanticism. I’m not sure if Lippmanns usage of art is conscious or not, or wether i am being selective in the way i think, and applying my love for painting onto his images, but either way Lippmann is using conventions of different art movements very well.

People

After Looking at so much of Lippmann’s work i cannot help but fall in love with his work and approach more. He literally photographs what he wants, he openly photographs what he loves and doesn’t try to overuse a specific lighting technique or colour code to create an individual iconic look that so many photographers crave ownership of. It’s a breath of fresh air to find a successful photographer who you can tell just through there images they live and breathe, and love making images, his work is not limited because he has to specify one area, or because one piece might look completely different to the last. Peter Lippmann has become a massive inspiration to me over the last few days and i’m sure he will continue too over my career.