LA-based photographer Mike Pedersen translates and transforms unconventional subject matter most would describe as ugly, industrial, neglected or bizarre in a manner that gives pleasure to the mind and senses...and this is the very reason that I fell in love with his work. Using a Speed Graflex camera from the 1950’s and Polaroid Type 55, a negative / positive film, Mikie takes photographs interpreting a conscious arrangement of colors, forms, movements and other graphic elements. He then deliberately damages and mutates the negatives with sandpaper, steel wool, a hammer or other odd objects. After scanning the images into his computer, he creates and builds layer upon layer, reconstructing the new image into an aesthetic success.
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Don't miss his upcoming show "Deciduous" which takes place next weekend here in downtown Los Angeles. Please see the end of this feature for more information, directions and YOUR chance to win one of his fabulously haunting pieces of work. YAY!
Spotlight Feature: Mike Pedersen
* Tell us a bit about yourself... My name is Mike Pedersen aka Mikiep. While most men over the age of 38 really wouldn’t like to be referred to as “Mikie”, it’s just stuck for me. Growing up with a father and an uncle who had the first names of Mike and Michael, it was just natural for me to be Mikie. Luckily, I wasn’t my nephew [another Michael…he got the nickname “Mickey” instead. : )
* What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come in 2 parts. First the photography aspect…I love to document landscapes, so I love going on trips with my beautiful wife where we just drive, drive, drive and find great shots along the way. I zone off and watch the vistas go by like they are on a TV. When my hawk-eyed wife or I see something we like, we do a little pit stop and I click click away. Sometimes when we drive long-distance, it can take 8 hours for us to go only 100 miles during the daylight hours because we stop so many times. Then during the dark hours, we put the pedal to the metal and go 700-800 miles straight to our destination. Luckily, my trusty better half keeps me happy and awake, armed with lots of caffeine and entertainment. I let the photos sit until one jumps out at me and then I start the digital part of the process. Being a darkroom fixer junkie and having idols such as Ansel Adams, Avedon and Salgado, I love seeing black and white images with subtle tones. I age my pictures by compositing layers upon layers to obtain depth and texture. My pictures build themselves inside my head…some flow freely and some I fight with and put away until later.
* Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun? I love spending time with my wife, traveling, going to flea markets, watching movies or snuggling up on the couch to watch HGTV or the cooking channel…yes, ladies, I can cook. : )
* What has been your most memorable moment selling your art? After buying my first Epson 9600 and printing the first print, I was ecstatic to be able to sell anything…but that first print turned out to be one of the first prints I sold for $500.
* Any advice for fellow artists... When you can see the finished product in your head, you have to shut out the rest of the world and all of it’s influences and to be able to create art that comes from your heart. In the beginning for me, my work sure didn’t look like it does now. Technique and personal style really is a growing process. Your art will grow and change with what is happening inside of you. Stay Inspired.
*Any upcoming shows or projects? I actually have a show coming up next weekend April 5th & 6th at the Brewery in downtown Los Angeles. It’s an Artwalk where we, along with other artists in the complex, open our studio to the public and usually thousands of people walk through looking at and buying art. This show is called “Deciduous” and it contains tree images that I took over the past several years. I love taking photographs of trees because no two trees are alike. They each seem to have their own personality. I guess I have a love for trees because they take me back to my youth where my Sunday afternoons as a little boy were spent climbing trees or laying under them letting the shadows dance around on my face. Trees create shapes and sounds all their own as each branch moves…Truly fascinating and peaceful.
Etsy Shop: http://mikiep.etsy.com
Sales, Bookings or Press contact:
Patricia at Serpentine Republic AR - 323.397.5599
Upcoming Exhibition:"Deciduous" Exhibition of Fine Art Photography -
Brewery Artwalk, Los Angeles 2008
620 Moulton Avenue, Studio 209, Los Angeles CA 90031
- Saturday, April 5 [11am-6pm]
- Sunday, April 6 [11am-6pm]
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Enter this week's Give-a-way!!This week's give-a-way is a super special treat and I am so happy to be able to offer it to you!
Mikiep is giving away a printer's copy of his limited edition "Seventeen" print from his upcoming show "Deciduous". Image size is 15.5"x 29"... printed on a 16.50"x30" sheet of Archival watercolor paper with border for framing. This print will be signed by Mikiep and is a $200 value!
How to Enter...
Take a look on Mikie's website www.mikiep.com or in his Etsy shop and
leave a comment here regarding your favourite photograph or illustration!
NOTE: If your favourite photograph or illustration is not part of your comment, your entry will be disqualified...sorry, but yes, it's true.
◦ ○◦○ ◦This contest has been extended and now be 2 weeks long since I won't have a chance to do an artist feature this weekend due to our art show..., meaning the deadline for this contest is now to be until the very last most littlest minute and second of Saturday, April 12th, 2008, PST.
This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things.
Best of luck to you, My Pretties!