Twigs, corkscrews, bank buildings: A photographer would be hard-pressed to find drabber subject matter. But in Paul Cook’s hands, even these most unremarkable sights assume remarkable optical effects. Cook, a Canadian photographer, digitally alters photographs according to the principles of sacred geometry to create wildly patterned fractals that look like something between a Rorschach ink blot and the view down a kaleidoscope. He’s a master of multiplying and beautifying the mundane.
“For the last two years I have been applying sacred geometry to my digital photomontage,” he tells Co.Design. “I always have a camera with me and when I see something that takes my fancy, I sample it. Primarily using a point and shoot, most pictures are taken with existing light.” To achieve the fractal effect, he duplicates and rotates several versions of the same photograph.
Cook has made fractals of animals, trees, bones, and hotel buildings, among other mainstays of the everyday. “Sometimes a mundane subject is a magical abstraction in disguise,” he says. “I’ve been doing this so long that I see kaleidoscopically.”
For his latest project, Temples of Finance, he developed 6-foot-square backlit velum photographs of bank architecture, then mounted them in the windows of a Bank of Montreal in Toronto. The Modallion boutique, a rug company, is now turning some of the designs into hand-knotted Nepalese carpets. Great idea, and topical, to boot. In the age of Occupy Wall Street, there’s nothing us 99 percenters would like more than to stomp all over our banks. Too bad we can’t afford the rugs.
[Images courtesy of Paul Cook]