Masood Kamandy is a local “photographer.” I use “photographer” in quotes because he’s more of a photo experimentalist, someone who uses photography as a base medium for abstraction. It’s easy to forget that photos can be used in such a way because it’s often a risky, elementary approach. That’s not Kamandy, though: he is an expert at his craft. His latest work—M.O.O.P.—really captures his fine art expertise at photo manipulation.
The body of work is a study of materials, a playing with resources that inherently alludes to processed goods, recycling, consumerism, commonality, and even Pop Art. On their face, the works are color blurs and warpings of objects, perhaps even painted smears onto photographs. That’s an idea, sure, but they are much more inwardly leaning than that: they are transforming images while keeping them very much intact. While some may seem like abstractions, they really do have a physical base like a water bottle or a pushpin.
“I see photography as an endless series of steps from the moment the object or view is selected to the final image,” Masood explains in his statement on this body of work. “The basis of my photographic methodology lies in intervention and material transformation whether it’s analog (as in constructing a physical assemblage to photograph), or digital (as in writing a computer program to modify the image). These photographs are my way of exploring materialism’s expansive meaning.”
And he certainly achieves that. Beyond the concepts, the works are colorful and bright and fuck with your sense of what is and isn’t real. They are at points surreal and painterly, pretending to be one thing while being another. It’s a great body of work. The work was on view earlier this year at Luis De Jesus—and the installation of them definitely seemed to add another, larger-than-life dimension to them. See installation shots and more from the series here.