Sonntag, 20. April 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY / erin o'keefe

erin o'keefe, photoshop gradient, image, photography



Space and light are the most important facts in photography. Ironically space becomes always flat when you try to fix it in photography. The NY based photographer Erin O’Keefe use this fact for her images which are simple, bright and intriguing at the same time. 
“My work operates in the terrain between two dimensional representation and three dimensional space. My photographs examine space and place. I understand space as an objective formal construct; a phenomenon of light and vision. I understand place as a site of memory and desire, informed by history and culture.”
O’Keefe create still-life based on strong composition of colors, light and sometimes fictional space. Educated as an architect and driven by the strong compositional character of this field, chose the self-tough art photograph simple compositions for her images which blur the line between reality and imagination. Her work remind to a lot of modern influences: Josef Albers, Le Corbusier, Peter Zumthor, Marc Rothko or Donald Judd, but O’Keefe create an individual essence about all that architecture and art references in a single photography.


O’Keefe construct a fictional space which becomes three dimensional on her two dimensional images. Her work looks simple on the first glance but is conceptional on the second, which is one important and obvious qualities in her work. For her series “The Flatness” the photographs refers to both the material flatness of the photograph itself, as well as the perceptual flattening of the still life space. O’Keefe is interested in the tension between the compressed space of the image and the visual clues that allude to the dimensionality of the still life. She is fascinated by the fact that the camera is the medium between the photographer, the subject and the result. The camera produce a certain reality, a kind of space which is fictional but also not completely in the control of the maker, the photographer.

Her series “Our Home My Home“ bring together the actual and the fictional space: 
The images in this series are still life photographs that juxtapose snapshots of O’Keefe's childhood home in Larchmont, NY with objects and reflected images of her studio in New York City. The tension between the space of the studio and the spaces depicted in the photographs is an important component of this work. The studio is included as both backdrop and reflected image. With this kind of reflection Erin combine not only two different spaces but also the past and the present. The resulting images become a kind of meta space between O’Keefe's childhood and her current identity as a photographer.
O’Keefe create references of reference: In her series “Collection” she creates fictional sculptures and take pictures of them. The photograph, rather than the object, work as the final product. O’Keefe make the objects, which are flat, from pieces of photographs that are in large part sourced from other sculptures. The constructions rely on the three-dimensionality depicted in these fragments to create the illusion of a sculptural object. 
The objects are decontextualized – and the photographs evidentiary.

Generally is it difficult to see if any picture is a real situation or something which is built up in photoshop. This is the most important fact about Erin O'Keefe: She never use digital tools to create her subjects, these are always real but as a viewer you are always drawn to ask questions about the reality of her pictures which brings them closer to everyday media then the most of the images we see today.


erin o'keefe, photoshop gradient, image, photography

red, blue, geometric, paper, josef albers

red, pink, gradient, photography, geometric, paper, josef albers


Paper, collage, sculpture, fiction


Paper, collage, color

Collage, Paper, sculpture

Paper, Sculpture

Paper, Fake

Environment, color, room, space, reflection

Environment, color, room, space, reflection


 © Erin O'Keefe

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