My Talented Friends, Part 1

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In which I begin an occasional series highlighting the tremendous work done by my super creative pals (translation—it’s free content. What more do I need?). First up: Matt Nighswander: Yale grad, former AP photo editor and current MFA candidate in photography at Columbia College in Chicago.

I won’t pretend to act as a critic of his work, save to say that, to my mind, Matt has a great eye for the edge space. The way he looks at urban space is an inversion of the way the Hudson River painters looked at landscape; his scenes are lush and striking, but in place of a provident God providing an abundance he shows an emptiness in the heart of consumer abundance. See, for instance, this one, shot outside a Chicago Best Buy.

A critic might be able to speak smartly to the composition; the way the lines converge, etc., though, really, I have no idea if this is shot the way it’s supposed to be. What I like is the the guy smoking; we’ve all seen this guy before, and we’ve ignored him at the same time, just some guy on his break. Matt’s work finds the overlooked, the half-seen, and brings it forth.

Take a look at Matt’s portfolio here; send him compliments here.

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