James R. Southard is a photographer, videographer and 2011 MFA graduate from Carnegie Mellon University.
My eyes were visually seduced for over two hours whilst pouring over James Southard’s photographs. Forget film, these works put the cliched phrase “lights, camera, action!” to shame. Going high contrast and high drama in his series Tooth and Nail, 2011 (images #1-4 above), Southard created epic scene sets which seemingly depict historical events al la Caravaggio or Delacroix. A second glance however reveals bizarrely out of place objects: a ukelele used as a spear, a bike used as a horse, taped paper hats in place of metal helmets, oh, and LOTS of crepe streamers. Awesome. It’s like your first grade class went to war…except these guys are actually sneaker laden adults.
As for the second series, titled The Inherent Pull, (images #5-8), Southard fabricated dramatic, film-noir-like environments with simple materials such as construction paper and plastic. Don’t see it? Take a look at his process in the video below:
The final series shown, Neither Here Nor There, is a step-by-step documentation of people in movement and how their paths intersect and overlap over brief periods of time.