In a world of digital photography where Photoshop reigns supreme, it’s hard to believe that some photos depict things exactly as they are—especially when they’re as unusual as the photo series created by Toronto-based artist Trevor Wheatley and photographer Jake Sherman.
In their Urban Dictionary series, the team places sculptures of slang words in the most unlikely environments—think forests, rushing streams, beaches—and photographs them. Sound weird? It is. But it sure does grab your attention.
As Wheatley told Juxtapoz magazine, the series is a juxtaposition of the force of urban language with the natural world, meant to re-contextualize how we view language. The elements of each photo are always the same—the letters installed in a natural environment—but each evokes its own surrealism.
The word “Snitch” snakes through a freezing river.
“Nah” stands alone in a field.
“Squad” hangs from a forest canopy.
The project allows Wheatley, a graffiti-artist-turned sculptor to experiment with different materials to build the words, including wood, mirrors, and even ice. Sherman is tasked with capturing the installations in all their glory—no easy feat when you’re in the middle of a freezing river or watching ice words melt on a beach. A group of friends helps them set up each shot, no matter how treacherous or bizarre.
And in case you need proof that there’s no Photoshop involved, the team documents their process along the way.
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