This body of work was born from an aesthetic response to the traditional concept of “The American Dream”, and ultimately the notion of “Living the Dream.”
Initially a very personal project, the idea stemmed from an emotional response towards being one of a hundred-thousand other newly inaugurated New Yorkers, all moving here for the hope of something better. I wanted to draw attention to the idea that better, as with beauty, is a socially constructed mindset.
The series focuses entirely on scenes within New York City, which I believe to be the quintessential attraction that bewitches starry-eyed disciples to it's streets. The collection sets out to explore underlying concepts and symbolism surrounding the perception of life spent living the dream.
The composite, multi-layered works capture and emulate urban scenes. Traditional architecture and gritty beauty contribute to the aesthetic of the pieces, capturing the nature and atmosphere of each location. The ethereal spirit and dream-like quality of the art is an effort to echo the realities and reflections of 'living the dream'.
The work seeks to explore and challenge perceptions of finding beauty in the every-day, creating abstract and dramatic pieces which transcend the typical definition of a city snapshot.
The main practices in this series of works are my digital SLR camera, my iphone and use of Adobe Photoshop. My vision is to unearth and capture what others might bypass on the daily commute or exploring the city.
I seek to investigate and spotlight certain abstract elements and patterns in the project. Combining photographs of urban architecture, and contrasting them with simple scenes of natural beauty creates abstract yet familiar pieces with a subtle message; there is beauty hidden everywhere. A recurring theme I have explored in this body of work is using and contrasting segmented architectural shapes with outlines of black, dirty drips and rusty sections of the New York subway walls against something lighter and more conventionally beautiful. Playing with negative space with the contrast of light and dark, I combine photographs of my ink spatter artworks with the city snapshots. I find this help to add color, and creates an unconventional photographic structure which I had developed from earlier experimental techniques.
Copyright Camilla Atkins/ CATKINS Design.