Visual Culture

Handmade visual opulence: Truck Art from Pakistan

The vernacular idiom of the visual language I have always had a persistent and abiding admiration for. Familiar enough with the wondrous personification, floral ornamentation, and the acerbic wit of truck art in India, I find the visual dialect of our South Asian counterparts in Pakistan decidedly fascinating. Truck-owners and drivers are certainly not subtle about making their presence felt on the roads, and the pride of ownership and the joy of what becomes home for long months, is made evident by the eye-grabbing image making, structural ‘additives’ and ornamental accessorization. Read More…

Rare photograph manipulations before Photoshop: 1855-1950.

Two-Headed Man: Unknown, American ca. 1855 Daguerreotype

It is quite curious for us to look back at an age of visual practice which did not have the tools that we take as an assured presence now. From anonymous daguerreotypers (about 1855) to Oscar Rejlander (very often credited with one of the earliest articulations of manipulated photographs – 1857), the century that was to follow saw the imaginations and skills of myriad ‘trick photographers’ come to the fore. The George Eastman House and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have in their collection some of the early ‘imagineering’ that occurred much before the Knoll brothers changed the image making world in the latter half of the twentieth century. Take a look.

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