Sara Cwynar is an artist and designer, formerly from Vancouver, but now residing and working out of New York. She takes photographs of stuff, focusing her work on the collection and visual organization of what may otherwise be perceived as useless items. She takes shots of cleaning supplies, food, books, plants, empty soda cans, shopping bags, coffee cups, animal skulls, curlers, fake flowers, rubber gloves, and even plastic spoons.
The ingredient of color is normally the main source of inspiration for most artists and we have seen many variations of how photographers manipulate color in their compositions. Having stated that, Cwynar sought to organize her personal stuff hoarded over the years, and decided to turn it into a creative project. She arranged the various objects according to color and began taking photographs, calling the collection Color Studies.
In her own words, Cwynar elaborates on her craft.
“Much of my work involves systems of categorization, particularly in relation to failed modernist ideas of obtaining and organizing the world, especially the idea that you could document everything through photography, which was a really prevalent idea at the medium’s beginning—that cameras would allow us to obtain the whole world in a sense, get the whole thing “objectively” on film. Organizing and manipulating my archive of saved materials in the studio is a way of controlling the world through images, organizing chaos, taking a small slice of the world and reworking it under my own terms.”
With color as the driving force behind her artistry, Cwynar also explains the process of what defines her color choice.
“I am really drawn to the way that colors morph—faded pinks on printed matter or colors in plastic (there is a great Roland Barthes essay about the way that plastic always fails to replicate natural color) and how scanning can warp colors and bring out new ones. I like colors that have been messed up by time and process.”
Find out what she means by viewing Color Studies over on her website.