Enjoy the mesmerizing portfolio of photographer Wayne Anthony Rice, who shares a collection of works from his Artificial Reality series. Find more by visiting his website.
Ice crystals form on the surface of a car windshield on a frigid winter morning. I look closely and see a whole world in that ice. Cracks and shards of white and cool blue flow one into the other. Reflections dance across a department store window filled with light, shadow and translucent color.
Whether I’m climbing into my car or walking down a city street, my eye is inevitably drawn to the abstract. Through the lens and frame of my camera, they become visual journeys. It’s my passion and maybe obsession.
I guess I have always been drawn to the abstract. I used to spend hours in my grandfather’s jewelry shop watching him create his beautiful jewelry. Jewelers wax was a plaything for me when I was a boy. “Do you have a picture of it in your mind?” grandpa asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Good. Now, slowly and carefully carve it into the wax,” he said with a smile.
What I saw in my mind were edges, angles, shapes and lines and I carved them into the wax. I didn’t really understand what I was doing. My grandfather never judged. He just smiled, nodded approvingly and turned back to his work.
My first formal experience with abstract art was through my father, who was a metal sculptor. He had been commissioned to build a large wall sculpture out of steel. I watched every step of him building it, and to this day it is still one of the most memorable and impactful experiences of my creative life.
Straight vertical lines flowed into organic and powerful horizontal shapes washed in a blue-red patina on the steel. It was what a peal of thunder might look like and it mesmerized me. It was an amazing and mysterious discovery.
I’m still chasing that mystery, that discovery. I even seek it out in things that have become commonplace, like the liquid crystal displays of computers, tablets, phones, and televisions.
During the pandemic, I began delving into my experiences and relationship to media technology. I found these screens to be windows into a surreal and captivating version of reality. Time is manipulated, sometimes truth is manipulated and with entertainment, real moments in time are abstracted to weave stories. Whether a virtual meeting, social media, a movie or newscast, I couldn’t help but aim my camera at these screens and begin exploring.
Through color, depth, shadow and light the compositions speak subtly of environment, a mysterious place yet discovered. With the Artificial Reality series, I seek to take you on a visual journey into the abstract, a journey I have been on since I was a boy carving jewelers wax in my grandfather’s workshop.