Fine Art Photography Daily

Pelle Cass

This week I am featuring a selection of Critical Mass portfolios that were stand-outs in my very subjective opinion. There are numerous others that have already been featured on Lenscratch.

Pelle Cass is a conceptual photographer who creates fascinating projects. His newest, Selected People, was submitted to Critical Mass this year. The series explores the combination of documentation and imagination. Pelle was born in Brooklyn, NY, and studied photography at the University of New Mexico, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Minneapolis College of Art. He holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and now lives in Brookline, Mass.

Earlier series include Color People, where Pelle explores color through people’s names found on Google image searches.

Pins uses appropriated images to create assemblages that play with space and scale.

The composite photographs in Selected People are both fabrications and truthful documents that explore public spaces in Boston, where I work, and Brookline, Massachusetts, where I live, over short to medium durations. With the camera on a tripod, I take many dozens of pictures in sessions of twenty minutes to several hours. My technique is simple. I leave in the figures I choose and omit the rest (in Photoshop). Nothing has been changed, only selected. In one picture, for example, I select people wearing geometric-patterned clothing. In another, everyone is stepping, one foot off the ground. And in another, I’ve selected people in rainbow order. In the manner of the documentary photograph, these candid, unposed pictures reflect and interpret public life. In the manner of the staged photograph, they are the result of a plausible artifice and can imply a story. In the manner of the typology, my photographs systematically collect and present likenesses as a kind of data. And like time-lapse photography, they condense time. Above all, my work shows a surprising world that is visible only with a camera.

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