Photolucida: Andrew M.K.Warren: Panoramics from Japan
Andrew M.K. Warren spends a lot of time considering the street, much of that is done from the perspective of a bicycle, allowing him to understand a place and culture through its transportation. While in Japan, Andrew began to notice not only how clean the streets are, but how orderly cars are kept in a city where parking is a premium. The shrouded vehicles take on a sculptural quality. ” My triptychs are an attempt to capture some of the creativity that has gone into the problem-solving of Japanese wheels owners. The choice of vertical panoramic highlights the formal constriction of the space while creating new juxtapositions and relationships across varied street scenes.” Andrew’s work can be seen in the Fence Project in Boston put on by Photoville, through September 1st,2015.
Andrew M.K. Warren is an artist and educator living in Boston, MA. He grew up in Andover, MA. and received his BFA and MFA from Tufts University/SMFA. His photographic work has been widely exhibited locally and nationally and some recent exhibitions include the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, Flash Forward Photography Festival in Boston, Lincoln Arts Project in Waltham, the Griffin Museum in Winchester, and the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. He has taught photography and video at Boston Latin School, the Photographic Resource Center, University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, Art Institute of Boston, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, New England School of Photography and he currently teaches at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA. He enjoys surfing and playing records for his cat Floyd.
In 2009, I visited Japan and stayed mainly in Tokyo with a close friend from high school. I brought a variety of cameras with me and used them as a way to try to make visual sense of a wildly overwhelming sensory experience. I have been drawn to pictures of automobiles for years, seeing them as a stand-in for the people who have to deal with them in order to get from point A to point B. In particular, the covered car has always held a specific fascination and curiosity for me. Inspired of course by the seminal image and sequence by Robert Frank from The Americans I approach the covered car as a potential shroud, the inert vehicle taking on the form of the lifeless human.
Fortunately for me, Japan was filled with covered cars! Whether as a means of saving the vehicle from the ravages of an almost tropical environment or as a form of modesty (or shame!) I could not tell. I just shot and shot and shot with each new city, neighborhood, building, and alley presenting potential subjects. I was drawn to the panoramic format and took many vertical images with the plan of combining them into diptychs and triptychs. In the editing process, I began to look for relationships across images, finding new and unexpected comparisons and contrasts. The horizontal images seem to work best as stand-alone pictures, perhaps due to the natural left-to-right reading across the frame of a western audience. The resulting body of images carry an atmosphere of quiet mystery and hopefully playful humor.
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