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Tim Richardson – Spiritual Machine
Tim Richardson – Spiritual Machine
With an expansive and diverse portfolio of film and photography commissioned by a variety of clients including Estée Lauder, Bergdorf Goodman, Givenchy, Lady Gaga, NARS, Nike, and Lexus, Tim Richardson is anything but one-dimensional. But when he was signed to produce a book of his photography, he was challenged to connect the threads that run through his body of work into a single concept. Fashion, futurism, and feminine allure, all culminated into the idea of the Spiritual Machine– an exploration of human spirit and technology, and how they can beautifully coexist.
“The book is about 5 years of work. [Spiritual machine] kind of pointed me in the direction of what my visual tastes were. I wanted to take that understanding and that dialogue with the people I’ve been working with and try to put it into a more narrative world than graphic. It really became a guiding principle on the work that I was doing and became a point of comparison for everything else.”
Richardson’s work reflects his adventurous approach to his art, utilizing various methods of photographic technology such as motion capture, 3D scanning and 3D imaging. “People fall into aesthetic similarity and it’s important to try to push the envelope because images like that tend to have the most longevity.”
The result is a series of film and photos that feel otherworldly, yet reassuringly human. This familiar element emanates from his personally selected subjects – Academy Award nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi, model Guinevere Van Seenus, model/actress Tao Okamoto, and model/musician Brooke Candy. Wanting someone who would “be able to carry the character [he] was trying to create,” Richardson believes these women to have a sort of “chameleon like quality.” His emphasis on character has embedded a powerful and feminine energy into each of his portraits.
Coinciding with the release of his book back in May, an exhibit of the same name was displayed at Milk Gallery, NYC. Among the featured pieces was a motion capture film installation entitled Liquid Couture, in which Van Seenus could be seen walking in a spectral crystalline ensemble, that seemed to be shifting and forming around her movements. As a seasoned editorial photographer, he explains in an interview with Milk Gallery’s Karenna Insanally, how fashion is a fundamental component of his futuristic images, “…I wanted the body to create the clothing. Her movement actually creates these beautiful forms around her, and creates this really liquid fashion; that’s why there are these really beautiful rhythms and this really liquidy moment.”
Duggal is proud of our part in Richardson’s exhibition. We produced his outstanding imagery on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, all mounted to aluminum.
Throughout his work a mixture of influences can be found from artists like H.R. Giger to photographer Serge Lutens; think, classic high fashion meets alien robots of the future- strange and magnificent. “Each time I do something I try and use a duality to make an interesting type of friction. That’s where the interesting stuff is.”
When we asked what he would most like his readers to take away from this book he stated, “Some books are made with a very specific intention about period, or society, or fashion, and that can be quite fixed. To me if there is a takeaway or response from the book it would be an openness and a willingness to engage in the different ways to make images. Especially for people who are just starting out, to get understand that there are many dialects. Tradition is useful when you’re learning technique [but] after that you should find your own voice. I hope the book motivates people to do that.”