Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blue Blub, Hangers, Atomic Love

Sandy Skoglund's work is best described as a dream world that has gone seriously askew. She takes photographs which take months to install. Sandy’s photographs are bizarre and weird but are interesting and fun to interpret and look at. She has many photos that stand out but there are some that just pop out. For example this one photograph titled Blue Bulb. In this photo the man stands out the most. At first glance, the man is what everyone would first see. In the photo the man is depicted as large and orange. She uses this color to make the character in the photo be the first object seen by the viewer. Skoglund displays the man on the left, in the forefront. In the background there is a room which seems to be further away from the man. This room has an orange ceiling, bed and curtains as well as blue walls and the blue bulb on the center of the ceiling. The blue bulb on the ceiling for which the photograph is named after is miniscule compared to the orange man. The orange man is also looking at the blue bulb. His facial expression shows that he is intrigued and confused by this bulb. To the ordinary viewer the bulb is not as interesting. Skoglund portrays the man with great detail on the face and the way his hand looks and located. The detail shows what the man is thinking and trying to express. The position of the man’s eyes allows the viewer to be intrigued by trying to find out what exactly the man is looking at. After glancing at the man, the blue bulb is brought to the viewer’s attention. Overall it is obvious that Skoglund wants the orange man and the blue bulb to be the main focus of her photograph. The two main colors blue and orange help to make those two objects stand out.

Another photograph taken by Sandy Skoglund is called Hangers. This photo is realistic yet very bizarre. Hangers are the main focus in this photo as mentioned in the title. Skoglund makes the hangers the focal point of the photo by creating hundreds of them all over the photograph. Picture this, a yellow room and chairs as well as a pink floor. Then there hundreds, if not more, two-dimensional blue hangers placed on the walls and floor. These hangers are repeated over and over again on the wall as well as on the floor. On the floor there is also a bucket with a couple of blue hangers in it. Even though the hangers on the wall are two-dimensional, they become three-dimensional as they fall and hit the bucket full of paint also as they fall on the chair. The chairs are on the forefront of the photo and placed awkwardly on the floor. In the background a door is open and a woman dressed in yellow pajamas is about to walk in. Sandy Skoglund overflows the room with the same item to make the painting seem surrealistic and dream-like.

The photograph Atomic Love is another one her photos that seems realistic but with a twist included. The twist or irregularity of this photo is that the whole thing is in leopard print. Everything and everyone in the room is covered in print except for the faces and bodies of this man and woman in the background. The room including the walls, floor, ceiling, and ceiling fan are covered in animal print. In the forefront there is man that is depicted as tall and is facing in the direction of the regular man and woman. The tall man is also displayed in then side profile meaning that the viewer only sees one side of his face and body. On the floor there is a cup in front of the tall man. Then after the tall man there is a table. Next to the table on the right, in front of the tall man, is a baby sitting on the floor. To the left of the table there is a woman sitting on a chair. She seems to be making something in a pot. Behind the table there are three people displayed. Two of these people are a man and woman that are dressed in print clothes but their faces and bodies are not in print like the other individuals displayed in the photograph. The man in the photo is behind the woman and holding the woman’s arm as if to show affection. Then the other man is beside the woman on the left and is all in animal print like the other individuals in the photograph. He seems to be reaching out to the woman because of the way his arms are raised. The distortion in reality creates a surreal but odd and bizarre photograph. Sandy Skoglund in this photograph tries to portray the Atomic Love of these two people. The two people in the photo stand out because they are not covered in animal print. To show their Atomic Love, Sandy makes the two characters stand out in this animal print world.

Overall Sandy Skoglund creates this new world. All of her photos have people as well as animals included in it. In some of her works she creates photo’s that have an array of repeated objects like the Hangers photo. Skoglund likes to distort reality and eventually creates a dream-like situation. She also creates a photo that seemed to be of ordinary life but then gone seriously askew like the Atomic Love photo. Her ability to deform an ordinary photograph into something that is strange and doesn’t seem real is appealing and attractive to the viewer. Overall Sandy Skoglund’s work of art are creative and bring something fun and interesting to the viewer even though the process to creating these photographs takes a lot of time and energy. Each one of her photo’s focuses on something or someone and then that something or someone is put in a situation that that is out of the ordinary.