Crazy Photography Book Review

I have this nice little thing going on during my days off work – I walk into town with my wife, have a coffee and some breakfast and say “have a good day” to my her as she goes off to work. This leaves me just outside the only bookshop in town, where a spend some time looking through the new titles. The spine of Crazy Photography (published by Vivays) screamed out in large red letters enough to convince me to pull it from the shelf. After seeing the modern surrealist piece by Giuseppe Mastromatteo on the front cover (above) I nearly put it straight back to continue browsing. It’s not that I don’t think that this kind of photo-manipulation in’t clever because I do. This kind of thing just leaves me a little cold. I assumed that the rest of the book would be full of similar pieces of art but for some reason I flicked quickly though and the first page a stopped on, purely by chance, was Alexandre Orion’s! Now, Orion’s photos don’t rely on photo-trickery so my false view of what Crazy Photography had in store immediately changed…

Diane Routex has curated a great collection of photographers and photographic-artists. Now, you know my bias is with the former but I don’t want to be too dismissive of the latter. Take Jan Oliehoek’s imaginary creatures for instance (above) and even Jens Sage’s missing Seats. They are two examples of great photo-manipulation in my eyes. However, the more orthodox photography that’s included really stands out for me.

There are a few model makes included, whose photography is completely conventional. Michael Smith creates little scenes of days gone by while Lori Nix’s creations come from within a fantasy world. Jack Ambridge aims his tilt-shif lens at the real world and makes it look like a model in Little Lands while Michael Hughes (above) holds souvenirs up to their big brothers and sisters in the real world to create something altogether different. Liu Bolin’s self-camouflage gets a look in too as does Mr Toledano’s Hope & Fear (below), where intricately costumed models are captured in their mad attire! Crazy subject matter sure, but standard photography – beautifully done – none-the-less.

And then there’s a kind of photography – well it’s not really photography I guess – by a guy called Robert Overweg. Instead of photographing the real world, he frequents the outskirts of computer games in search for glitches in the fabric of the virtual world. It’s mind-blowing stuff indeed. But then there’s Alexandra Orion (below)… what can I say about Orion that I haven’t already on Ektopia. He’s the guy who can paint on a wall, wait for the fleeting moment that makes the living and inanimate come alive together. Extraordinary!

I have to say, I’ve discovered so may great artists in this book and would recommend it to any one into contemporary photography and art. It’s not that crazy but it is brilliant. Crazy Photography weighs in at 160 pages and is available direct from Vivays and all the usual places including Amazon UK.