I was raised during the height of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war loomed between two superpowers. The dramatized depictions in TV and film of such an apocalyptic demise both intrigued and scared me as a child, yet the actual historical record of the atomic age was full of antiquated, black and white images that seemed dated and a world away. This series re-contextualizes a legacy of atomic bomb tests in order to keep the ongoing nuclear threat fresh and omnipresent. Imagine if the advent of the atomic era occurred during today’s information age with tourists gathered to view bomb tests at the “safe” distances used in the 1950’s and sharing the resulting cell phone photos online. It is not that far from the truth considering Las Vegas enjoyed a boon of atomic tourism in early 60's due to their geographic proximity. Atomic Overlook also speaks to the current state of the world, a voyeuristic, tourist filled culture where catastrophe is viewed as entertainment by increasingly desensitized masses. The iconic mushroom cloud, a loaded symbol burned into our collective subconscious, simultaneously represents a triumph of science, apocalyptic destruction and even national pride but in this case can also serve as metaphor for larger societal issues such as global warming, nuclear power, industrialization and pollution. Issues that seemingly breed an adopted apathy, where individuals can do little but stand by and watch.
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In Dark Light
“In Dark Light”
This series of self portraits examines my loss of identity and enduring personal journey through depression. It is a solitary path that encompasses loss of home and parent, the pursuit of beauty, work and perseverance under no religious or visceral compass. Imagine a vast, shadowed plane...mired in fog with colors muted and senses numbed. Beyond the horizon lies hope for brighter days and so the lone soul carry on, albeit cast in dark light.
Transport, Clay Lipsky, Self-Published, Los Angeles, CA, 2015 In Dark Light, Clay Lipsky, MagCloud, Los Angeles, CA, 2014 LANDLINES, Clay Lipsky, MagCloud, Los Angeles, CA, 2014 Inconcrete, Clay Lipsky, North Light Press, Dearborn, MI, 2013 Atomic Overlook, Clay Lipsky, MagCloud, Los Angeles, CA, 2012 Nowhereland, Clay Lipsky, Blurb, Los Angeles, CA, 2011 Seaside, Clay Lipsky, Blurb, Los Angeles, CA, 2011 Fading Light, Clay Lipsky, Blurb, Los Angeles, CA, 2010 The Salton Sea, Clay Lipsky, Blurb, Los Angeles, CA, 2010
Working as a graphic artist has made me a chameleon of visual styles and this greatly influences my photography as well. Although despite the variety of techniques, my art revolves around recursive themes. The core concept is best described as “man vs. world” for I am continually observing the protagonist of man shapes society both figuratively and literally.
Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer and Emmy Award winning graphic designer based in Los Angeles, CA. His artwork has been published and exhibited internationally, most notably at the United Nations (Vienna), National Museum of Contemporary Art (Romania), Galerie le Carré d'Art (France), Lishui Photo Festival (China), Ballarat International Foto Bienalle (Australia), The Annenberg Space for Photography (USA), The Smithsonian’s National Atomic Testing Museum (USA), Esquire Russia and as Critical Mass Top 50.
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