CHRYSLER 2 (2006)
From Paintbrush to Pixels
After establishing himself as a painter and sculptor, this Los Angeles artist has turned to the medium of photography to create his asymmetrical, multi-dimensional cityscapes.
“This piece is a 360-degree panaromic, but also a 180-degree arc from the street to the top of the Chrysler Building,” Kidd Says of this New York rooftop scene. After spendingnearly three days atop a 27-story building to capture the image, he says that his “vertigo was lost to the concentration of getting the perfect shots.”
“I give these elements an equal amount of attention in a piece, so photographing the texture of a floor, or a paper bag, or a trash can, or a parking cone is as interesting as the world’s tallest building or the Superdome,” he says. “ I like to balance the attention to those different kinds of detail – in other words, giving an importance to all of them – so I can say that they are just as important as each other, or that beauty can be found in areas you might not expect. So in that case I play with distance and length.”
Using either apeture priority or timing or timing priority – depending on whether he wants to show the movement of traffic on a freeway, for instance, or isolate an object by playing with depth of a field – Kidd uses many techniques to create the whole.
He isn’t bogged down by the technique of photography, believing that “happy accidents,” such as a frame out of focus, can often add a new dynamic to the image. These areas often start to look surreal or fictional, and they are what gave him the idea for his current series, “Fictional Realities.”
Kidd may shoot up to 800 Images of one subject, so just wading through them to find all of the ones he likes can be a daunting task. After he does so, reducing the total to about 60 images, he pieces them together over a two- to- six-month period, adding layers and stitching the images together as seamlessly as possible. Eventually, he creates a massive finished image that can be up to four gigabytes in size.
“I’ve come to find that over the years the process is, I am presented with a question, and the first one usually is: What images am I going to use?” he says. “I then look at all the images. I make a selection of some very strong, dramatic, attractive images that just pull me. There is a possible metaphysical aspect to that process of choosing the images or, one could argue, an unconscious selection process that takes place. Once I’ve asked the questions and gone over it, I’ve actually viewed all the images…. It’s definitely otherworldly to be working with 600-plus layers, [which] can be quite daunting as well on me and my computer.”
TIMES SQUARE 1 (2007)
JUNE 1, 2010
BY ADAM CRAWFORD