Recently, I was browsing rather aimlessly and half-motivated at the most through the books on display in a London museum. I was not quite sure what I was looking for until I found it. A small new publication called Crazy Photography by Dianne Routex.

Li Wei, Arrow of Love, 2009

Li Wei, Arrow of Love, 2009

That photography could be “concerned”, “pure” or “art” is nothing new to me but that it is now also called “crazy” made me curious and buy the book. Presented here are 45 photographers and visual artists in 4 “categories”: body, scenery, fears and dreams.

On the unfortunate side is, that the photographers are mostly just present with one image each; on the other hand, the author provides the reader with the artist’s individual website.

What is it that makes photography crazy?

Well, on the one hand there are several pieces of work that are purely photographic (without digital post-production) but done in quite original – if not entirely inventive – ways.

There is, for example, Li Wei’s work: done without any digital altering of the images, it is quite amazing what kind of human sculptures and installations he is able to create.

At least equally interesting is work that is done in the pain-stakingly time-absorbing process of creating dioramas and miniature-worlds first and then taking pictures of them, thereby creating life-like pieces of art that are as painting-like as they are amazing to look at. Examples are the images by Pierre Javelle  &  Akiko Ida or Michael Paul Smith.

In the rather surreal sections “dreams” and “fears” the author has gathered mostly work that might not be just as easily defined as “photography”, not even a “crazy” one. These are projects by visual artists, mostly working on computers and creating their images without using cameras at all. Video Games worlds are recreated and serve as scenes and subjects for the images (Robert Overweg works entirely in games, looking for architectural fragements). Or Cecelia Webber who creates flowers of human bodies.

Robert Overweg, The Garage, 2011

Robert Overweg, The Garage, 2011

Photography might be “crazy” and the book certainly makes a point for 21st century image-making practice. What I am not quite sure is, if the images presented here will survive as photographic pieces of art or if they are merely “fun” products of people engaging with images. Some of the projects could certainly have a future in advertising and some make you smile. And the book shows that photography does not stop with just snapping pictures.

Crazy Photography by Diane Routex is available from Amazon.

The mentioned artists can be found here:

Li Wei: www.liweiart.com

Michael Paul Smith: www.flickr.com/photos/2479674@NO5

Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida: www.minimiam.com

Robert Overweg: www.shotbyrobert.com

Cecilia Webber: www.cecliawebber.com