EIGHT DEADLY SINS
by Gary Irving
This August Gallery 903 features photographer and artist Gary Irving’s Eight Deadly Sins.
Gary Irving is a multimedia artist with a studio located in Santa Cruz, CA who is known for his highly stylized narrative photo-composites. Irving uses Photoshop to combine subjects from different frames within a background to create a story in the manner of a painter. Starting with the concept, he photographs the subjects in his studio and then places them digitally into a background. Originally developed for a commissioned calendar project for the popular Santa Cruz Derby Girls, Irving has used this style on four other distinct series: Santa Cruz Skateboard Legends, Surf Apocalypse, Zombieland, and Dark Portraits.
Having grown up in a small Welsh town, Swansea, Irving moved to Santa Cruz in 1994 and has since established himself as one of the premiere visual artists working in digital medium in Central California. Originally interested in drawing and painting, Irving incorporated photography into his practice for source material and to document his work. Eventually, his interest in photography outgrew his love of paint and he immersed himself fully in the pursuit of mastering his technique. In order to make the most cohesive final composition, Irving has to light the subjects in such a way that they will fit together within the background without the viewer’s attention being drawn out of the scene to its construction.
This series is an environmental statement intended to show the gravity we should be giving to cleaning up our actions and caring for our planet. In each photograph, Mother Nature is personified in the form of a woman. This is intended to symbolize her strength and beauty in a way with which the viewer can hopefully empathize. Each item between her hands represents the materialization of a particular sin, and is floating for a surrealistic portrayal of the idea that we never thought we would see the occurrences that we are in fact now seeing. Mother Nature cannot touch the item because she has nothing to do with humanity’s sinful acts against her, and she is stuck watching disappointingly as we destroy her Earth.
The frames took approximately 8 months of the two year project. They are individually handcrafted from wood and resin, with specific pieces molded and glued together to form each final piece. As all the molds fell apart through the process, these frames are one of a kind and can never be recreated. When building them to encompass each sin, I wanted to epitomize the depth of darkness that our sinful actions have caused Mother Nature.