On photographer Max Siedentopf’s website his work is described as “sometimes really smart and insightful, but usually just fun ideas.” This is a description most apt for Horribly Happy Holidays a photography series which is superbly sarcastic and slightly sinister.
Created for a solo exhibition at a rooftop outdoor gallery in Budapest, the Amsterdam-based photographer wanted to create a series that reflected the time of year: the end of the summer holidays. “Still reminiscing of sunnier and generally more enjoyable days, I wanted to create a series, that takes a closer look at holidays and stereotypical family photography,” Max explains. “I tried to reenact very typical cliché family photos, which one can find in almost every photo album or stock photography website.”
The result is a collection of images which each subtly hint at nuclear family references. “Father and son playing football, mother and daughter cuddling happily together, and let’s not forget the beautifully matching outfits on a perfect day outside.” However an ominous element is added in Max’s choice of summertime relics. “To distort these scenes I added another symbol which often represents a perfect and happy holiday: a marvellously sculpted watermelon, which in this case became their happy and horrible face.” After viewing this series, you’ll never quite look at watermelons in the same way again…
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