I meant to publish this last month on the fifteenth to coincide with the opening of the Oakbook show six years ago, but I got caught up in the new P1XELS website stuff. The Oakbook show was was still to run another month back then, so I’m not that late!
I don’t keep up on social media as one must these days, I guess, but I’ve noticed of late that some people are ignorant of the history of iPhoneography or are ignoring it or are simply making things up. And much of the history, behind the scenes, has never been told. And if my circle of level-headed advisors have their way, I will probably never get to share the really good stuff.
Speaking of history, there is a vanity publishing project whose ads I see all over the place these days claiming to be the “first mobile photography” magazine. I will not lie: it bugs me every time I see one of their amateurish banner ads.
One thing I find very amusing about this publication is that they declare that they are about the “democratization” of the mobile photography movement, while one issue of their magazine costs seventy-five dollars! Wow!
The actual first mobile photography magazine was published in May of 2010, preceding that other publication by a good two-and-half years. It was called P1XELS and we put out six issues. Download a FREE pdf of the first issue here, if you don’t already have a copy.
And … moving on to the good stuff …
This is what I wrote at the time about the video of the Oakbook show back 2010:
Here is a video I made of the gallery show the day after the opening. To those of you who requested that I video the opening, I apologize! I never got a minute to shoot anything.
The opening was a lot of fun. We got a great turnout. Again, it was obvious to me that people still have a hard time grasping that all of these beautiful images were created on iPhones. And those that did, wanted to know what apps everybody uses!
If you are in the area, please join us at the gallery at some point over the next month. We will having a closing party on June 12 and the show will close Sunday, June 13. Gallery hours art: Wed, Thur, Fri 3-6 pm, Sun 11 am-3pm, Jack London Sq., Oakland
I made a flyer for the show, sort of the beginnings of my manifesto about the work that is being done in this new medium. Not sure if people were reading it or not! Here is an excerpt:
The iPhone IS a simple, limited, almost awful camera, which is part of its great allure for me personally. And I love the apps used for image manipulation, some of them clearly created by madmen. Almost every iPhoneographer has a toolkit of apps he or she favors.
The images here are not manipulated as those in advertisements, or fashion magazines, or Playboy, to sell something, but rather to bring out the greater truth of the image for the artist – and this is where, after the initial shot is taken, the artist’s personality emerges. And, naturally, the subject of the photo tells us volumes about the artist as well.
The rule for this show, as always, was no manipulation on a computer, only on the iPhone.
I cannot believe I actually used the word “manifesto,” but, in the interests of historical accuracy and transparency, I must leave it in.
Beyond that – below is an amazing gallery of work from those very early days, just as powerful now as they were back then. I was doing all my work on an iPhone 2. Maia Panos had a 3GS.
As an aside, do I need to mention that I think the iPhone cameras are way to good now?
This gallery includes images that added to the show after the Oakbook exhibit closed. The Kahbang Festival, August 2010, in Maine contacted me and asked to send the show out there, so it was an opportunity to add some great talent!
You will recognize plenty of the names. Some people have disappeared.
Looking back at our early iPhone work, I always come back to this quote from Henri Matisse:
“Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium.”
Ah … the heady early days of iphonic art and iphoneography!