Roads and Rivers Collection
Conceptual photography expresses an idea or concept through photos. Specifically, the idea is fundamental to the processing of creating the photograph in the first place.
The Roads and Rivers collection expresses two big ideas that are broadly relatable to all of us, and one personal idea that is only known by the artist and to collectors who ask. That is the beauty of conceptual photography... it can say many things.
"I love conceptual photography where constraints are put on the creative process and then pushed up against to express the idea as fully as possible through a collection of 100." MintFace.
Roads and Rivers is an aesthetic echo of Alejandro Cartegna's Carpoolers through its top down view of vehicles crossing the Mexican / US border. The collection size of 100 is a nod to Justin Aversano's Twin Flames which documents the lives of 100 twins in NYC.
Let's take a look at the hidden meanings in the Roads and Rivers collection that is currently being explored using New Zealand's roads and rivers as a canvas to create an entirely new meaning.
The Conceptual Road
The 'Road' represents the journey of work and life. It is mission orientated where we know where we want to get to (the destination) and how we will get there (the road). Each photograph illustrates a different journey through the 'Road' symbolism.
Some journeys are long... some short... some a dead end and some require crossing a great expanse of the unknown. We may be on the journey alone or together... often we see people journeying in the complete opposite direction and question our mission and whether we should keep going.
The Conceptual River
The River flows at its own pace. It cannot be controlled nor is it in a hurry to get anywhere. The River is completely oblivous to those on the Road... they pass right under them unpertubed by their hurry and haste. Yet the River is often strewn with castoffs that never make it back on the Road.
The River flows in many forms. Floods, rapids, shallow, polluted, trickle and drought traits represent those Rivers that may not make a healthy final resting place. It is worth continuing down the river, until you find a Road worth joining again.
The Big Idea is X
The big idea is that all of us are on a journey... by either Road or River at any given time. The Roads and Rivers collection captures the moment wen where our journey switches from one to the other.
That cross-sectional moment forms a visual 'X' where the Bridge bisects the River. It represents the very geolocation heart of change. It is a moment where we can decide to continue on the Road we are on... or switch to a more leisurely River pace... or vice versa.
More Roads and Rivers Symbolism
When you are on the Road... you can go far but it is hard to take in the beauty surrounding you. It is one mile after another of tar seal and painted lines... while the tundra passes you by at a rate of many miles per hour. In contrast, the River is pleasant and meandering but its destination is unknown and mostly out of our control.
Traits as Concepts
Traits are a storytelling aid too. There are nine traits in Roads and Rivers #33.
The feature trait in #33 is Sunbather assisting the viewer to see the conceptual idea of the series embedded within one of the artworks in the series. The Sunbather is comfortably ignoring the Road and the Three Travellers (another trait) on their own journey. The Sunbather is in a Relaxed state.
The Roads and Rivers conceptual convention can also be broken to communicate that the River option has dried up entirely. There is only one option... continue along the Road.
That is the beauty of conceptual photography... it is more than raw beauty... it is more than a rare captured moment.... it is a collection of imageery that expresses an idea individually and collectively. The artwork is strong if and only if it speaks with confidence to the conceptual story.
Some artworks will naturally speak more strongly than others. These artworks express the concept fully and tend to be more coveted by collectors as a result.
One More Thing...
The viewpoint of the artist here is beyond Road and River... merely an observer of all the various journey's currently in play. The birds eye view suggests that there is a third way to interpret where we are at in life. That there is beauty in all moments. The viewer gets to zoom out and see each X junction for what it is. A decision point... connected by each of our own journeys.
Some journeys are up and to the right and some are down only... something that is impossible to see unless you can zoom out and see the broader picture.
This is the beauty of conceptual photography... it can say so much through subtle changes in the elements added to provide a new layer of meaning never expressed before, at least in this particular way.
Roads and Rivers Collection on Foundation from 0.15 eth to 0.25 eth
Note: The final collection size will be 100 unique 1/1s and a handful of editions. Currently sitting at 30ish 1/1s.