Oct 22, 2014

Chris Sallquist Makes Smashing Art with His Arts Mashing Style

What is your name and where do you live? 
CS:  My name is Chris Sallquist, and I live in Seattle, Washington.

Your work is unique - you photograph images torn from magazines and then recombine them into new works. Do you use a mobile device to photograph the pages?
CS:  Yes, all of my work is shot and edited on an iPhone. I call my technique “Arts Mashing,” as a nod to the mashup factor in my art. I blend different images and pages from fashion magazines into entirely new compositions. I’m revealing scenes and people that are invisible to the naked eye – almost like an alternate universe.

© Chris Sallquist


© Chris Sallquist
Arts Mashing Lines

Does your work fit into the mobile photography genre since you are photographing existing work? 
CS:  To me, the mobile photography genre is less about the subject matter and more about how you use the phone as a tool to capture and edit images. I call myself a mobile artist, though, not a mobile photographer. 

As an artist I know there is a fine line between violating copyright and creating derivative works. Do your photographs fall under the category of derivative works?
CS:  My work sits on the line, for sure. But my legal team assures me that my pieces are sufficiently transformative to qualify as fully derivative works. My art is intended to highlight the contrast between the glossy perfection of fashion photography and the gritty realities that lurk under the surface. 


© Chris Sallquist
Blossom

© Chris Sallquist

Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
CS:  I have a degree in journalism and advertising, and have worked in interactive design since the early 1990’s, but I’m not a designer. I’ve always been creative though. Before getting involved in mobile art, I wrote a novel, produced four separate podcasts series and performed a series of one-man comedy shows. 

© Chris Sallquist
Correspond
© Chris Sallquist
Farther Wide
How did your current style of work evolve?
CS:  In 2011 I started experimenting with my phone, taking photos of magazine pages that I folded and warped. I edited them in Snapseed, and the results were interesting. I kept at it and after a while my style evolved into the look you see now.

© Chris Sallquist
Kit Kite

© Chris Sallquist
Maryanne is
Does a photograph inspire a project or do you have a concept in mind and then look for the appropriate photo to match the vision in your mind?
CS:  I browse magazines for an image that stands out to me then search for complementary images to mash it with. There’s a lot of trial and error and synchronicity involved.

Have you considered doing the same style using all of your own photographs rather than ripping them from magazines?
CS:  I’m currently collaborating with a photographer on several projects.

© Chris Sallquist
Oh What Sooth

© Chris Sallquist

Have you ever sold or exhibited your work? If not, any plans for the future?
CS:  I started showing my work last year as part of the Shadow Stories exhibit curated by the Mobile Photography Awards. Since then my work has been included in other group exhibits, including a Shooter Magazine exhibit in Porto, Portugal (where I sold my first piece), a Columbus Museum of Art Photo Hunt exhibit, and a mobile photography exhibit at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. In October I’m part of another mobile photo exhibit at the Brentwood Road Gallery in Romford, UK. I recently received the Best in Show Silver Award at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition "Imagine This" - a mobile photography exhibit. 

© Chris Sallquist

© Chris Sallquist

From your website I see that you also do custom portraits. How are these created?
CS:  I use the same process for my custom portraits, except I start with a photo of the person who commissioned the piece. This is slightly more challenging, actually, because people sometimes get uncomfortable when their image is manipulated to the point where they don’t look “normal.” I have to walk the line between creating a favorable image that the buyer will like and not inhibiting myself because they might not feel like they look their best. Sometimes it takes twice as long to create these custom portraits...

© Chris Sallquist

© Chris Sallquist

What piece are you most proud of and why?
CS:  I’m most proud of the pieces that reveal some unexpected twist to the viewer. One of my pieces, called “Some Roarings,” features a stoic looking woman gazing in profile. She appears to be wearing an elaborate, flowing headdress, and her arms are stretched backwards at an awkward angle. If you turn the piece sideways, though, you can see that her headdress and arms are the arms and hair of a woman draped over a red velvet chair. It’s a powerful image that sticks with me.

© Chris Sallquist
Some Roarings

© Chris Sallquist

© Chris Sallquist
Selling Greece
Is there another area of mobile photography that you would like to explore?
CS:  I think animation is a likely next step for me. I’m intrigued with how motion will bring the work to life.

© Chris Sallquist
To Whom and Their

© Chris Sallquist
What Can
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
CS:  This is a really interesting time for me. For 20 years I’ve built a creative career, but nothing has grabbed me more than my Arts Mashing art. I know now what I want to do when I grow up.

Find Chris: Web / Instagram / Facebook

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