Marilee Lorusso
Staff Writer

Gary Colby, professor of photography at University of La Verne, has seven photographs from his collection entitled “Flat” at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts in Jopin, Missouri. Colby’s photographs are a part of a group exhibition called “Binary Articulations.”

The photographs Colby took are real objects like old-fashioned children’s toys and everyday objects like a dustpan. Colby photographed these ordinary objects in a flattened state. Most of the objects he used were flattened naturally by being run over or wearing down over time. Colby also took objects that he found or purchased and had them flattened by machine in order to get the image of flatness.

“I’m photographing something that is already flat,” Colby said.

With these flat objects, he said he used a photo shop computer program to resize the image. With this technique, people who see the pictures are able to question the true size and depth of the object. Along with the resizing, he added a shadow effect using the same program.

“For me, its important to continually think about what we draw and what happens with the stories we tell and the drawings we make of them,” Colby said.

All of these photos were taken using a plain white background. They are also mounted with a flat white border as well to maintain the flat image.
“They are a purely digital experience,” Colby said.

The idea for the flat pictures came about when Colby was taking photos in Death Valley. He was invited to a photo workshop where he found a rope that had been coiled and flattened in ?the street. From this point on, an interest was sparked, and he began to take pictures of this style.

Colby said that this project happened over time rather than being completed in a certain time period.

Those who see Colby’s photos are intrigued because of the subject matter as well as the technique he uses.

“I like it because its not your traditional landscape,” said Kevin Holland, manager of the ULV photography department. “I like them because they are playful and carefully crafted.”

The exhibition will remain in Missouri from Sept. 8 until Oct. 14.

Marilee Lorusso can be reached at
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Posted September 23, 2005