By the Light of a Silvery Moon

I've searched out matching pairs of picture postcards, based on the same original daytime photograph, where one has been left unadulterated and the other heavily worked. Here an unknown retoucher has created their own particular, often garish and sometimes peculiar vision of a nocturnal scene. Windows glow, street lamps are set ablaze, festoons appear, shadows vanish and almost always a silvery moon is added to the sky.

Continue looking and stranger things begin to reveal themselves. Although many of the people & vehicles appear in both images, some have disappeared. Sometimes epic in scale - a whole beach of sun bathers are flooded over by a night time high tide, and sometimes more subtle - one couple on a lawn vanish, while another nearby are left in place. Changes strangely evocative of the doctored photographs of Stalinist Russia.

This series has two distinct outcomes; photo-collage and anmated/lenticular works. The collaged pieces are made from two original postcards, cut by hand or laser and the cutout pieces inlaid into the other view (and visa-versa). The animations/lenticular prints flip between the entirety of the two views.

In their different ways both of these look to play with the space between the real and imagined worlds, to accentuate the marks of the retoucher’s brush & blade and to invite the viewer to revel in the mysterious world they created.

The first iteration of this series, where the postcards were cut by hand rather than with a laser, were selected by for the Fresh 2017 Awards online showcase, organised by the Klompching Gallery in New York.

The Winter Gardens, Cliftonville (hand cut)

The Harbour, Folkestone

The animated versions have been produced as both lenticular and layered prints. In both cases the view alternates between the original unadulterated and reworked views. The video below shows an installation at Rodic Davidon Architects in Bloomsbury, central London. The lightboxes each have a double layered print to acrylic which shows a black & white image when only lit from the front, while a colour image burns through when backlit.

Copyright Jon Spencer 2003-2019