Beauty in the Details

by Diane Curry, Curator

Those who know me know that I’m a big fan of classic cars. If I could afford it, I’d have a fleet of cool, classic cars and hot rods of different makes and models. This is partly why I love the photographs by Stephen Hollingsworth in the new Community Gallery exhibition “iCarography.” The photos show some of the best classic cars around and the beauty in their details. While there are some shots of an entire car, many of the images show just a hood ornament, a fender, taillight, or hubcap, all of which are evocative elements that show not only the form and shape of the car, but gives a true enthusiast all the information they need to note the make and model of all of the cars pictured.

While the subject matter is intriguing for me, what really got my attention about Stephen’s work is that all of the photographs were taken on an iPhone and then manipulated through three or four different apps. Rather than a straightforward, documentary style photo, we have these cool, rustic, vintage, high toned images that give the subject matter of the photos a whole new feel—modern and yet…not.

You might think to yourself “Everyone takes photos with their iPhone and plays with them in an app, so what?” I would agree to some extent, as a society we are bombarded with cell phone photos on Instagram. But, it takes a true artistic eye to: 1) see the way to take the photo on a tiny screen in such a way that it will look good; 2) know how to play with the right apps to manipulate the image; and 3) know when to stop playing with the right app. I think Stephen has done a superb job in doing all three.

For me, the point of the show is not only these really great, interesting photographs of some truly cool rides, but interesting photos of cool rides that just happen to have been taken on an iPhone. Now that’s cool and timely!