Based in south-east London, photographer Andy Price finds inspiration in the most mundane of places – we’re talking Poundland, objects discarded on the street and instruction manuals. In fact, “the most excited I have been about photography,” he tells It’s Nice That, “is by an A4 ring binder of the 1987 Readers Digest New DIY Manual which I found on a bin walking into the studio.” Having studied photography at Falmouth, Andy’s practice is comprised of playful still lifes, always bathed in plenty of high flash lighting and wit.
“I’m constantly on the lookout for objects and items that I like the look of or am attracted to in other sorts of ways to collect,” he explains on how he builds his impeccable but completely unexpected compositions. “Sometimes I will be looking with a certain project or theme in mind but most the time I just grab anything that I get good vibes from. As time goes on, the objects hang out together and more things get added to the box and ideas start to form between things. Once the thoughts and objects have marinated long enough to develop into an idea, I will bring the bits together and make a photograph or a series. Then the process continues a bit like a ‘scooby’ in kombucha.”
Take, for example, his series Pound Series which features the word “POUND” spelt out across five images, one letter from the word forming part of an elaborate still life. The work began when Andy was on a usual trip to a pound shop scouting for props. “I was thinking about the value of the objects and the type of objects that are often found in these shops and decided that I wanted to give these items their time in the spotlight and shoot an ad campaign for them,” he says. “I started by finding these glittery foam letters which I could use as the typeface in the campaign and went from there.”
For his series _Simple Constructions, however, the jumping-off point occurred while flicking through Making Simple Constructions. Published in 1972, the book details how artists can use everyday objects or recycle rubbish to make what it calls “constructions”, a type of artwork the books defines as “any form of creative work that cannot be defined either as painting or sculpture”. The discovery of the book occurred at a time when Andy had moved into a new studio space (with Luke & Nik) and so the idea merged with using this new space a backdrop, as we all as a compositional element, within the project.
Andy explains: “I started making things just for the fun and enjoyment playing and feeling out aesthetic ideas can bring. Then presenting these items in the studio environment and trying to highlight their surrounding, the place in which the work is made, fitted the ideas of constructing images and making the constructions well.” Ultimately, it’s these ideas – of elevating the oft-overlooked, finding beauty in the mundane but also, and most importantly, viewing the world with a playful eye – that rings true throughout Andy’s portfolio. While technically adept in terms of composition and the way his images are shot, the real joy of Andy’s work is in the way it makes you look twice at something you’ve seen a thousand times, like a sat nav or one of those necks pillows you take on aeroplanes.
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