The art of photography has just become more democratic. No longer do you need heavy cameras, expensive lenses, and a full version of Photoshop to produce professional photographs. All you need is your smart phone – and a hefty dose of talent. The iPhoneography movement is gaining momentum worldwide, and for the second time Visual Voice Art Gallery is presenting an exhibition of photographic works entirely created using a smart phone. Titled Unlock the show features the artworks of beckibecko (Erik Beck), Gérard Godin, and MissPixels (Isabelle Gagné).
All photographs in this exhibition were taken and edited entirely within the confines of the iPhone. Strictly no Photoshop allowed! But the artists did make use of an array of apps which do anything from modifying contrast and colour, vignetting, blurring, even adding vivid graphic elements and distortions. For example, MissPixels processed her piece Winter Solitude with five apps until she achieved the desired feel.
Over the last fifty years photography has seen an array of inventions which has made the medium more accessible: the Polaroid camera removed the need for a darkroom and added spontaneity and an idiosyncratic aesthetic, which was then perpetuated by cameras like the Holga and the Diana. More recently, digital cameras eliminated the expense of film altogether, and the ease of sharing digital files gave rise to websites such as Flickr and Tumblr. Is iPhoneography the next big thing in photography? It certainly has meshed seamlessly with social media. Instagram, for example, is one of the most popular iPhone apps on iTunes, and part of its popularity is certainly due to its seamless integration with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Tumblr.
Whether iPhoneography is a meme or here to stay, it is clear that the three Unlock artists are seasoned photographers who are not allowing themselves to get side-tracked by a new gadget, rather they use the limits of the iPhone to push the boundaries of their own creativity.
Visual Voice Art Gallery, space 421
beckibecko, Gérard Godin, MissPixels
January 28 – February 18, 2012