Image from Matt Black's "Something Black" Exhibition
Image from Matt Black’s “Something Black” Exhibition

The advancements of the digital age have greatly impacted the art of photography. Photographers are now virtual painters as well, capable of manipulating their medium the way artisans have been able to control the images they create on a canvas. Paris-born photog, film maker, and creative director, Matt Black has embraced this high-tech ability by cutting and pasting  digitally enhanced images and unaltered photographs together in his first solo installation, Something Black, showing at New York’s Ace Hotel.

Black’s exhibition features nine pieces including one collaborative work with tattoo artist Mike Rubendall. In the collection, Black chose to flatten the color of the pieces by using a black and white palette. According to Black, this technique creates a balanced and layered image by building on tone and contrast.

The idea of contrast seems to be focal theme of Something Black. The use of opposing ideas like combining both staged subjects with spontaneous moments, altered & original images, and a black & white color range emphasizes Black’s exploration of the duality of human nature. It’s mankind’s age-old philosophical dichotomy of  good vs evil told through the eyes of a 21st Century auteur.

Matt Black Photo, source:
Matt Black Photo, source:

Matt Black’s journey as an artist began at the age of ten when he traveled with his parents to America for the first time. Mesmerized by the graffiti-tagged trains and japanese tattoo books he discovered in New York and the skateboarding culture of Southern California, Black returned to Paris with new-found interests that became life-long inspirations for his work. He became heavily involved in the graffiti scene in Europe and eventually moved to New York to pursue a career in fashion and visual art.

Lady Gaga, photo by Matt Black, New York City
Lady Gaga, photo by Matt Black, New York City

By marrying street culture and high fashion, Black has managed to create a much sought-after signature style. He spent eight years working as a visual director with Dior and later spent time as an image/design consultant for Louis Vuitton. His photography has been featured in major couture magazines like Vogue Paris and V, and his portfolio includes pics of celebrities Tricky and Lady Gaga. Black has also moved into directing short films, documentaries, and commercials including spots for Goyard and American Eagle Outfitters.

Matt Black’s “Something Black” will be showing at the Ace Hotel Gallery until January 5, 2012.

For more information about Matt Black and his work click it.

Check out videos from the Matt Black directed series, Reflections: