CHR!S REEL, born in the year of The Rabbit and based in New York City, NY, is a visual artist working in the mediums of photography and film. He enjoys creating pieces that combine both the “why” conceptually – and the “how” physically. Being formally educated in the fine art of photography; he feels that knowing the history of photography and other various artistic mediums, is essential to his creative process. He enjoys creating work that celebrates realism while drawing the viewer into the possibility of a satirical perspective.
What are the themes or motivating ideas behind your thesis work?
CF: Bad Curio is my expressive body of work that delves into my allure of love and erotica as well as my inquisitiveness with socially-aware matters in our society. The first set of images is a commentary on our society’s craving into always being connected to technology and the possible contradictory “master vs. slave” mentality that is at play. There is also the message of supremacy and the level we will go to achieve and keep it. I choose to use recognizable iconography figures because these are images that we have grown almost accustomed to in resembling these Greek god-like beings. The characters in their fictitious world are practically without blemishes, but in reality we all have faults that sometimes we refuse to admit to. The second set of photographs are recreations of intimate moments that once were, with a desire to hopefully be again. Both the shapes and colors have been purposely exaggerated as to not distinguish a certain race, creed, or color. As these figures can obviously take the appearance of being sexual objects, I force the use of the light-colored gels to blend the colors together to give the sense of a more profound yearning connection between the two subjects.
What has been the process behind developing your concept and production methods?
CF: Each final print is made from nylon balloon material that also acts as a metaphor to a past joyous occasion. Choosing to use deflated nylon balloon material adds another layer onto the theory that a photograph is used to capture that one particular moment in time that once was. Before each of the composed images are photographed they are drawn out and vectorized in Adobe Illustrator; these stencils are then used to cut the appropriate shape out of the balloon materials. The shapes are repositioned and photographed using strobe lights along with colored gels from various angles. The benefit of taking the photographs with the lights at different angles and adopting contrasted colored gels allows for no two pictures to be duplicated and a metamorphosis of bounded shapes and colors
By Terricka Johnson