The Art of Darkness
Eyeless sirens trapped in the detritus of urban wastelands. Iconic gas-mask-clad craniums sprouting antlers like human jackalopes. Jigsawed female forms splayed out beside abandoned automata. Behold, y'all, the bizarrely bewitching realm that photographer Dayvid LeMmon, 23, creates with his camera and computer.
Outwardly, the Glendale resident plays the unassuming, stringy-haired goth-geek. Inside, however, there festers a malevolent, magnetic creative energy that has already garnered him collectors locally and in Gotham. This fixture of the First Friday scene scored himself a solo show last year at NYC's Lucky Cat gallery/performance space, located in Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg arts district. In P-town, the walls of Perihelion, Paper Heart, Trunk Space, and others have played host.
Partake of his work online at www.dayvidlemmon.com, or get thyself down to .anti_space's new digs for LeMmon's Art Detour gig "My Dream Will Cover the Earth." In case you're wonderin', I ain't related to the guy. But we did shoot the shit not too long ago.
"Dayvid LeMmon: My Dream Will Cover the Earth"
.anti_space, 718 North Fourth Street
Opens Friday, March 24, and continues through the end of April.
The man in black:
My closet's filled with black tee shirts. Black is so much easier to color-coordinate. And you don't have to worry about separating it out for laundry.
Twisted and timeless:
One of my favorite photographers is Joel-Peter Witkin. Another one is Dave McKean, the illustrator who's known for doing graphic novels with Neil Gaiman, like The Sandman comics. Films like The City of Lost Children, Brazil, and the work of the Brothers Quay. I like the retro mystique of the Quays' flicks. They have this old-school appeal, and are sort of dirty and grungy. I find that fascinating. I have a little bit of that in my work, but I give it a modern twist, as far as my models and stuff like that. Sometimes I use vintage clothing. I go for something kind of timeless. I don't want my work to feel dated 10 years down the road.
Tools of the trade:
I used to shoot film and scan it in, but now I'm shooting with a Canon digital SLR, one of the higher-end ones. As far as programs, I use Capture One, and of course Adobe Photoshop. A lot of the textures and stuff on my photographs are scanned in on a flat-bed scanner at a really high resolution. Things like scratched-up CD jewel cases, clear plastic, just about anything I can find. I think a lot of people produce their Photoshop art by pretty much screwing around. But most of the time, when I'm out shooting, I have a pretty good idea of the finished product that I'll end up with, kind of pre-visualizing it.
Darkroom be damned:
I prefer the computer over the darkroom by far. There are a lot of people who are anti-digital, so to say. The thing is they just don't understand. They don't know how to work with it. You can match and exceed the quality of the prints you get from the darkroom. Quite a few of those people are either ignorant or afraid.
Cue the banjo music:
I do a lot of shooting in abandoned sites all over the state. Empty factories. People's houses where it looks like they got up and left 10 years ago, and their entire lives are sitting there. I find them by just driving around with some of my friends who have the same interests. Sometimes these houses look sorta handmade, like some scene outta Deliverance.
What, no Bauhaus?
I listen to music a lot while I'm working. You kind of have to when you're working on a piece for five or six hours at a time. I listen to a lot of industrial music, industrial dance, I.E.M., ambient noise sort of stuff. Some groups I like: Displacer, Skinny Puppy, Die Form, Depeche Mode, Clock DVA, Coil, Lustmord, Kraftwerk. Typically, I lean to the darker realm of music.
Chicks in masks, tied up, looking deceased, etc.
Sometimes I wonder what that's saying about my subconscious. Like, "What's going on in here?" But I don't harbor any malicious intent towards women. I love women. I guess I just like the contrast in those images. It's an interesting aesthetic. And people seem to respond to it. They either hate it or love it.
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