Patterns of Prosperity
We have a huge selection of products to choose from in the United States. Even in a modest grocery store there are many different choices for any particular type of food item. Forget purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain – it’s more about a towering wall of cereal.
In an outtake from the movie Borat, a clerk shows the ostensible foreign visitor a pretty standard dairy case in a supermarket. Borat asks about each of the products in the case: “What is this?” – “Cheese” – “And this?” — “That’s cheese.” – “And this one?” – “That’s also cheese.” He can’t believe that all of them are cheese. This repeats 52 times; then he moves on to the butter section.
My photographs capture this spectacle of store shelves using iPhone panoramas. Normally your eye only notices products in your immediate vicinity. However, a panoramic photo widens the field of vision to reveal overwhelming abundance. This expanded view highlights the visual patterns and slight variations from box to box across the many available varieties. In addition, the iPhone “pano” mode adds distortions and imperfections that amplify the surrealism of the scene.
Lee Kilpatrick is a fine art photographer and the director of the Washington Street gallery and studios in Somerville, MA. His primary focus is documentary candids in both digital and film. His work usually depicts people in everyday but intimate situations; the subjects seem to be in their own private worlds, conscious of neither the camera nor themselves. Along with conventional formats, he also uses panoramic photography, presenting a closer view of the subject set in a wide view of the environment.
Kilpatrick’s bodies of work have ranged from “Backyard BBQs and Other Social Gatherings,” documenting people being alone together, to “Splendid Isolation: Late Summer in Northern Maine,” portraying the agricultural area where he grew up. In addition to showing at Washington Street, he has exhibited at the Willoughby & Baltic gallery in Somerville, shown in the 2015 Griffin Museum annual juried show, contributed to group shows in the Boston Metro area, and spoken on a panel about the photography of everyday life at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. He was the ARTSomerville artist of the month in January 2006. His work is in private collections throughout New England.
Contact Lee Kilpatrick