Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Reality of Cookie-Cutter Realty


© Ed Freeman

Ed Freeman's work  is photographic in nature yet he does not consider himself a photographer.  In describing his process Freeman notes, “…[W]hat I do with a camera is "data acquisition" - and that's only partially in jest. For me, taking photographs is just the beginning of a long, multi-stage process that results in pictures that are halfway between real and imaginary.”  Freeman explores both the California desert and urban landscapes of Los Angeles with a focus on architectural facades throughout two bodies of work, “Desert Realty” and “Urban Realty."  The works are highly seductive with an intoxicating use of color applied in the “Urban Realty” images and a hypnotic often-monochromatic palette used within “Desert Realty.”


© Ed Freeman

Freeman strips away human presence within these images, suggesting perhaps a post apocalyptic life wherein the fast food chain remains standing strong.  Additionally, by stripping away neighboring structures, street signs, telephone poles and wires, crowded parking lots and drive thru queues, Freeman provides his viewers the opportunity to study the excessive and exaggerated building design used to attract hungry urban commuters.  Freeman explains, “I'm fascinated by what I'd call fantasy, cookie-cutter architecture, and fast food restaurants are some of the best examples of that. We pass by them every day and pay no attention, but if you stop and look, they are really quite extraordinary - totally impractical, deliberately outrageous, wildly colorful, mass-produced, cheap junk designed to make you want to fill up on some of the worst food on the planet - and they are wildly successful at doing this. To me they are mesmerizing - beautiful and comical and thought-provoking and evil at the same time - irresistible subjects for photography, or whatever it is that I do.”  Contrary to the representations of imperialistic fast food structures within “Urban Realty”, the “Desert Realty” images offer remnants of past independent attempts to feed the dessert wanderer.

© Ed Freeman

Freeman’s work can be viewed at his gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles. “Desert Realty” is currently on exhibit at the Longmont Museum in Longmont, Colorado through September 23, 2012. The Photographer’s Gallery in Hollywood, California represents a selection of Freeman’s images.  Additionally, Freeman’s book “Desert Realty” is published through Chronicle Books.

© Ed Freeman

© Ed Freeman

© Ed Freeman

© Ed Freeman

© Ed Freeman

© Ed Freeman


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