Photo manipulation, montaging and digital editing have grown to have an undeserved negative reputation through uses (and arguable abuses) of tools like Photoshop. The work of Andrew Brooks, however, shows how creative hybrid images can transcend so-called ‘original prints’ and become surreal combinations of still life, landscape, art and sculpture.
While some of the scenes are far-fetched and others are beyond fantastic, many of the urban and architectural settings he selects are vividly realistic – as are the seamlessly spliced multi-image pictures he builds out of them. Interior and exterior shots, cityscapes and ocean swells are all mixed together carefully and completely to create almost-believable new worlds to we can visually explore.
From dark dense cosmopolitan structures to pastoral and picturesque countrysides, he says of himself that the crucial element to my work is atmosphere. No matter how much digital application is going on, the atmosphere and feel of a picture is always the most important thing.
He accomplishes this fundamental, experience-oriented goal through a vast variety of means: stitching together shots to create curved perspectives, combining separate places into a new single setting, playing with light, dark, shadow, contrast and more.
One could be tempted to put him in the same category as a ‘visionary architect’ who designs around potential futures or to relegate his works to the realm of photographic science fiction, but there is at least one critical difference: his works start with real life, basing his art fundamentally in the here and now