The other day I swung by the studio of photographer Kelly Barrie. Kelly’s artistic process is one of the more bizarre and unique methods I’ve seen in quite a while. It involves multiple photos, a darkroom squeegee, photo luminescent pigment, and Kelly’s feet. Intrigued? Click on the handy “Read More” button to find out how Kelly creates photo magic with a lil help from his feet.
Like most artists, Kelly stumbled onto his process by accident. While walking barefoot in his studio he noticed his dusty footprints on backdrop paper that had rolled onto the floor. Intriqued with how the dust print became a drawing Kelly decided to photograph the footprint. After a few trials with photo luminescent pigment and a some fancy footwork a new body of work was born!
Each image is constructed by Kelly literally drawing the image with his feet and photo luminescent pigment. Kelly has developed quite a large body of footsteps to create various marks and lines in each image.
There’s a great painterly quality to these photographs. From a distance they look like paintings framed behind glass. Only when you get closer do you realize that what you’re looking at is really an ephemeral image constructed and then photographed. Once the work is photographed the drawings are destroyed.
This work started with this newspaper clipping of a house in louisiana which was flooded by Katrina. Attracted by the reflection of the water, Kelly decided to replicate the image.
Because of the reflection in the water, the image is initially abstracted. As you look closer, several visual cues alert you that you’re not looking at an infinite landscape but at a reflected image. The reflection was achieved by completing the entire image and photographing it. Once photographed, Kelly went back and partially erased the house by hand using a darkroom squeege. Then the image was photographed for a second time digitally to create the reflection.The final result is extremely seamless and seductive.
Many of the reference images in Kelly’s work come from newspaper and magazine clippings.
Skulls and dead trees, two of my favorite subjects.