I’ve always looked for the beauty in dereliction. Decaying, abandoned buildings, peeling walls, rusted artifacts and long discarded objects all hold a visual fascination for me. I spend time searching out and photographing these places – both in their own right and as a backdrop for my environmental portraits.
Recently I stumbled across an old abandoned ‘finca’ with an amazing series of graffiti artworks decorating its walls and inhabiting its spaces. It was a gallery of work – years in the making, that nobody had ever seen. Through each room you could see the development of the artist as they fueled the need to paint these crumbling walls. I was intrigued by this ‘unknown’ artist and what inspired them to paint a building that would soon be demolished. Most of all I was overwhelmed by the respect the ‘unknown’ artist showed this devastated house and how the graffiti complimented, rather than detracted from, its environment.
I posted a photo of the ‘artwork by unknown artist’ on Instagram but nobody knew more of this mystery creator.
I was left with nothing but questions. What drives an artist to produce art that may never be seen, let alone bought, by anyone? When the building is demolished and the artwork reduced to dust – where does that leave the artist?
I can relate to the physical need to make images – to take photos or paint pictures, because it is compulsion, obsession, vocation and from the day I left the ‘finca’ I was determined to find this fellow artist.
I did that yesterday. His name is Mangüe López. He’s just 17 years old. If he had a website to link to I would but he’s an original talent and he’s not doing it for the fame or the gain – he’s just doing it because he is.
FLAMING YOUTH – a book of photographs by Glendyn Irvin from Puberty Blues.
I’ve been following this mega talented image maker since I first saw Cracker Bag and thereafter the brilliant Playground so I was excited to share his latest project – in his own words & photographs and available here
I started documenting the making of the show from the start. Like visual notes the photographs became part of the process of discovery of how the series would look and feel. From casting and location scouting to scene ideas, documenting a colour or how the light looked at a certain time of day. What worked, what didn’t. The people, places and things that make up the texture and tone of Puberty Blues.
Most of the time the photos were taken in the moments just before ‘Action!’ was called. Or in-between ‘takes’ to maintain focus and momentum throughout the stop / start rhythm of shooting. That small amount of precious time just before the cameras roll. I would sometimes take a quick shot just as that moment of transformation would take place, from ‘actor’ to ‘character’.
Sometimes the photo would become the key on how to shoot a scene. A way of trying to find the essence, or a reduction to a single image. An attempt to find stillness in and amongst the chaos of a film shoot.
I don’t take as many stills as I want to now I’m more involved in film making but when I saw this skateboarder kid on a street near me I just had to snap his picture….The light wasn’t great and I could have easily talked myself out of the shot but sometimes instinct just compels me to push that shutter button..
I don’t have facial hair myself..but there is something fascinating about those that do and when I found myself caught up in a convention just recently I took the chance to snap these simple street portraits……