Sunday, 25 November 2012

Johan Thornqvist

Johan Thornqvist set out to find an interesting way to incorporate art and photography into one. using only photographs taken from his phone, Thornqvist used some photo manipulation to create interesting lighting scenarios for his characters to inhabit. Each image shows off his quirky sense of humor and imagination. Swedish artist Johan Thornqvist started out by creating websites. His work involved designing print materials or businesses and designing logos. Following on from this he started his own business taking inspiration from a variety of sources such as comic books. 

This photograph is of an old fire hydrant. I like this choice of subject matter because the subject matter is something peculiar to focus on. This image has been edited by changing the colour of the fire hydrant in various hues of green. In the background of the image you can see a plain wall with stains and gathered dirt at the bottom of it. The fire hydrant, being in the foreground of the image, makes this the focus point of the image as this is the first thing noticeable on the photograph. At first glance, it looks like the fire hydrant is becoming rusty, but after looking again you can see that the top few layers of paint have peeled off the hydrant; in some places more than others. At the base of the hydrant you can see brown as the green paint has almost completely come off. At the top of the fire hydrant you can see where Thornqvist has drawn a mini city. Along with the tall skyscrapers and the spaces with a few trees in them, you can see a hot air balloon to the top left of the hydrant and a crane to the left, lower side of the hydrant with what looks like two people inside.

I was not able to find a specific meaning to this photograph. Initially, I thought that the photograph could mean that the various buildings on top of the hydrant represent houses and also public buildings that have been saved and or will be saved by fire engines attaching hoses to the fire hydrant. Another interpretation that comes to mind is that as there is a city sitting on top and around the hydrant, it could represent that we as individuals and as a civilization has always needed water to survive, no matter how remote. The wall behind the fire hydrant and the ground around it looks rather dirty along with the hydrant as the paint is peeling off which could suggest that this area has been forgotten about. However, shown by the buildings drawn around the hydrant, it shows how even in bad living conditions, people will still settle and try to build somewhere secure to live. Another meaning could be that the buildings around the hydrant, assuming there is meant to be people living inside, could represent all the workers and engineers that keep the hydrant working and also the firemen who use the water inside to help others. All in all Thornqvist might of just wanted us to imagine that there are small people living inside and around fire hydrants in invisible cities.

I really like this image as it leaves so much to the imagination. I love how Thornqvist came up with the idea of drawing a city, similar to modern civilization, on top of a fire hydrant. I also like that the fire hydrant itself is not in pristine condition as it contrasts to the clean city residing around it. The drawings themselves are almost childlike which also makes a nice contrast to the cold stonewall behind the hydrant and the dreary ground.

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