Junior Conceptual: A Junior Conceptual Project by Aidan O'Leary (2016)
Click to read Artist Statement
This image was created in response to an ekphrastic poem I wrote reacting to an installation by Anish Kapoor called Vortex. My favorite thing about Kapoor’s Vortex was how I felt sucked into it by just looking at it. The line in my poem ''it pulls me in'' is one of the feelings that I wanted to portray in my image. While I felt captivated by the Vortex, I also felt like it called out to me. ''It reaches out to me,'' is a line which I portrayed through the use of vibrant colors easily caught by the eye. The final aspect I wanted my photograph to embody was mystery. In my poem I talked about how mysterious the Vortex was to me, I illustrated this by using the glass to warp the image and make the viewer question what they are seeing.
I started by thinking how I could use one image to create the feeling of being pulled into something. I came up with shooting through a piece of PVC pipe. After this, I thought about what I could photograph that would be unrecognizable and make the viewer really think about what they are looking at. My final shot is through a PVC pipe and a piece of glass up against a vending machine. The PVC pipe creates a focal point drawing the viewer’s eyes to the mesh covering the vending machine and colorful packaging of the snacks inside which are warped by the glass. The hardest part for me, when photographing, was minimizing reflections on the inside of the PVC pipe. Another challenge I faced was holding the PVC pipe and the camera at the same time. After I shot the raw image, I opened it in Photoshop and made minimal adjustments to the exposure and white balance as well as adding a slight vignette.