Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chad Davis Reviews Paul Biddle


         Paul Biddle is at heart a conceptual photographer and surrealist. In his artist statement he says that he bases his images around objects found and juxtaposed in a way to create a composition that comes to life in light. He creates pockets of mystery such as in “The Cabinets of Curiosities” and otherworldly landscapes in “The Archipelago of Fantasy Islands”. But one thing holds true throughout each of his presented exhibitions and portfolio work and that is to share with others the way he views objects and the impact they might have on an individual.              
“The Archipelago of Fantasy Islands” is the specific portfolio I will review. All of the images in this set are heavily edited through the use of photoshop to bring about a place that could not possibly exist in reality. They are islands of ears, hands and noses along with his imaginative inhabitants that live among these places. The source images used are staged sets of these found objects that he often uses in all of his pieces, they provide the viewer with a familiar piece to identify with and then branch off to serve another purpose that is appropriated by the artist, for example, in “Creatures come out to play” a seashell is used as the abdomen of his inhabitants.
        The Isle of No Egrets (left) and Contarini Cauliflower Island (right) are just two examples of these islands which exist to his character Count Muldivo that he made up for his presentation of this set as a book. Each of the images is shot as a monochromatic color scheme, and with frayed edges to stay consistent with the idea that this island was founded by the Count in the past. Along with the islands are the ships of the Fantasy Islands Navy which are objects shaped into a familiar silhouette. This creative use of real objects and an idea that there could still be an unexplored part of the world culminates into something that invites anyone to actually sit with each individual piece in the set and wonder how these places could exist and what mysteries might be there.

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your review on my series The Archipelago of Fantasy Islands