Project

American Dream: The ’60s Utopia in Matt Henry’s Project

After drawing inspiration from his research of American counterculture and social protests, Matt Henry created several photo projects about America of 1960s

Matt Henry
36 years oldMatt Henry,
Based in Brighton (England). The main subject is 1960s and 1970s America. The recipient of two International Photography Awards. Gets inspired by works of Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, William Burroughs, and Hunter Thompson. Favorite book – John Steinback’s “The Long Valley.”

Idea

In order to recreate the spirit of ’60s I used vintage props, clothes, cars; I chose models with faces that looked like they belong to those from the back in the days. Then, makeup and hair; the right locations. And stories that might evoke that period.

’60s is a period I’ve be interested in for as long as I can remember, and I studied it in college. The concept of the Short Stories project emerged very much organically, pair by pair. The core concept really is to use the paired imagery to help create an imaginary space between pics to push the narrative potential of the photograph.


{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_01.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 1”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_02.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 2”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_03.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 3”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_04.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 4”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_05.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 5”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_06.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 6”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_07.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 7”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_08.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 8”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_09.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 9”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_10.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 10”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_11.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 11”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_12.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 12”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_stories_13.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 13”,
“text”: ” Project Short Stories”
}

Tools

I’ve always found it difficult to key into in a single image. I’m at heart a film fan, and the diptych (editor’s note – a double image) feels somehow like it has that feeling of time and movement that a single image doesn’t, yet you can consume it instantaneously, which isn’t the case when you introduce a third and a fourth. The viewer embraces the whole story while looking at a diptych.

I’m not a huge Woody Allen fan, but I can certainly agree with the idea he conveys in his film “Midnight in Paris” – that wherever in time and space we are, we want to be somewhere else. It’s part of the evolution of consciousness and the cross that we as humans bear. No other species looks forward and backwards the way we do. I don’t think it’s a particularly great thing for our mental health, yet we couldn’t produce art without it. For instance, I think I’d like to live in a more agrarian time, when life was simpler and more nature-orientated.


{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_01.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 14”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_02.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 16”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_03.jpg”,
“alt”: “АAmerican Dream 17”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_04.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 18”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_05.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 19”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_06.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 20”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_07.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 21”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_08.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 22”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_09.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 24”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_10.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 25”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_11.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 25”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/matthenry_blueriver_12.jpg”,
“alt”: “American Dream 26”,
“text”: ” Project Blue River Falls”
}

Doing photography for living

Frankly, I’m not great at self-promotion and have only just started to get a handle on it. I got one big PR break with a particularly well known website and from this I got a book deal, a publication in an international art magazine, and sold prints to London’s leading photography gallery, Michael Hoppen. Just goes to show the power of the Internet.

Participating in competitions is pricy. I would advice to look at the track record of previous winners and ensure your work is of a similar standard and style before you blow your cash. A good photograph is one that tells a story, otherwise it’s just representation. Take me somewhere and make me feel something. If you want to be a photographer and maintain your artistic vision, try to lead a humble life and use the making of your creative works as the reward for what you do. Don’t take a full-time job. Live like a pauper and shoot, shoot, shoot.

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