I realized this week I haven’t showcased a cool, new-to-me artist in a while. My cousin introduced me to a hip Chicago documentary photographer, Rachel Smith, a few months ago and I’ve been enjoying her work ever since. Her choice of subject matter and technique are so interesting and unique and I thought it made the most sense to take a snippet of her website, so that you can better understand her ideas behind creating this series …
“The photographs are of fabric, an abstract representation of the past. In this particular series, I have chosen to de-fragment vintage clothes. There are so many powerful elements to these garments. The color, the shapes and lines created by these amazing patterns.
On purpose I have made these photos look extra nostalgic by shooting with a flash, up close and slightly out of focus. Shot with an old 1990’s point and shoot 35mm film camera. The photos are an abstract of a much larger picture. Introducing the flash was a very conscious choice. The flash adds to the pattern and makes this new, vibrant, yet bleak washed out image. The washed out image becomes a haunting, chilling look at the clothes left behind. The ghostly image is a far cry in the “brand new obsessed” world in which we live today.
Living in such a time of immense environmental consciousness, this is also a look into how today’s consumerism is taking over. Everyone is overly obsessed with brand names and labels, thus forgetting about the fashion. Becoming part of what society says one should dress in. A robot of fashion verses being an individual searching for one of a kind or resale.This series is founded on a bare budget including: analog film (REDUCE) and thrift store clothes (RECYCLE)(REUSE). Today’s fashion is heavily based on all former fashion trends. Fashion in 2013 is a 100% mashed up period clothes. I feel like today designers thrive on layering genres. Fashion is recycling design and trends, but not materials. While ignoring (REDUCE), the world still rapidly continues to produce. Therefore I make these lost, forgotten, thrown pieces of clothing look fabulous by photographing them as if they were brand new avante garde clothing flown in from Paris. My ultimate ambition is to make the garments look amazing.”