Peter Graham’s main interest photographically is in subjects with strong colors, line, form and textures; and the best expression he has found in Istanbul of these characteristics is in the imperial and some minor mosques. The Iznik tiling, textures and intricately decorated and complex overhead structures provide a wealth of subject matter. Other sources of inspiration have been street art and graffiti in the back streets of Beyoglu, large building structures of architectural interest and other subjects where color plays a major role.
This collection of photographic images represents his recent work in the development and application of some specific techniques to present what he terms “alternative realities”, created from his manipulation of conventional photography to bring out elements of his artistic influences from David Hockney’s work, Surrealism, Cubism and the never starting, never ending graphic work of MC Escher. The mosque photography is represented in three main streams, the presentation of Iznik tiles and panels in simple, large formats; what he terms “foldout photographs”; and “compound photographs”
The “foldout photographs” start from the selection of a conjunction of design elements, often from the dome area of a mosque and from an odd angle, what he terms a “third eye view”, and folding out the resulting photograph two, four or more times. This produces an eye-catching, detailed composition that may be reminiscent of fabric design and Escher’s work with never ending galleries, for instance.
The “compound photographs” play with perspective and lens distortion to create compositions where three dimensions are presented in a two dimensional plane with consequent Surrealistic and Cubist characteristics. One can see both floors and overhead in the same image, and this can be likened to the presentation of a video in a single image. Colour and texture play into both techniques, strengthening the overall impact of the compositions.
These techniques also play well with other photographic subjects from small details to large modern structures, as other compositions in the collection show.
The examples of street art and graffito collages were shot over a period of several years and integrated together to form a different whole. In some cases, multiple image photography can also magnify the overall impact of the composition as one example on display shows.
Peter has a substantial catalogue of this work in hand and is currently continuing the development of these and other techniques to produce other alternative realities. He is also extending his subject matter to other areas and has recently done work on several large cathedrals in England, for instance.
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