John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Scott Hazard creates trompe l'oeil that make it looks like he's chewing holes through the fabric of space-time.
Good thing Scott Hazard doesn't have a career in construction. Dude would probably tear gaping holes right through apartment towers and parking-garage walls, making it look like a gigantic rat is gnawing its way through the city.
Hazard is a Raleigh-based artist who excels at trompe l'oeil photography. Over the past couple of years, he's produced a way-out series of "Photo Constructs" using ripped-up pieces of the same landscape meticulously layered atop of each other. His collages create the impression that our space-time fabric is being attacked by sucking wormholes from universes beyond, with anomalistic portals eating urban doorways and hovering in the clear blue sky.
The weirdo artworks have proven popular. Hazard recently received a 2012-2013 fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council and is currently making more "Constructs" for a 2013 show at the Indianapolis Art Center. Recently, Hazard took the time to answer a few questions about the series. Here's what he had to say:
How did the idea of creating these portals come to you?
I’m very intrigued with the idea of looking at and through an image at the same time. I work to create a space within the work for the viewer to explore the image and make the viewer aware of themselves viewing the image at the same time. The portals or portal effects are in a sense a vehicle to transport the viewer into the image they are viewing.
In your mind, are they supposed to lead somewhere, or is it more like black-hole thing where we don't know what's on the other side?
They touch on both. These portals often lead to a place of focus within the image, or often to an unknown space just out of sight within, or outside the space captured in the image.
Will your 2013 series be much different from the older Constructs?
Much of the work to be completed in 2013 will focus on text and portions of images, but I also aim to complete some larger photo constructs.
On his website, Hazard also notes that the artwork "temporarily removes or alters the viewer’s existing frame of reference to provide an opportunity for a different presence of mind, a distilled frame of reference." If you read that carefully, you'll realize that the following photos are like a mind-altering substance. Proceed with caution!
Images used with the artist's permission.