PhotographerJoseph Stanek
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryOrchard Park, United States
Photo DateMarch 2015
Entry Description

This forced perspective examines one's inner battle to be average and fit-in versus breaking free from the arms of society.

About Photographer

I am a self-taught photographer based out of Buffalo, NY. Peter Lik’s work is what inspired me to invest in my first DSLR, and his work still amazes me to this day. I started by thinking that landscapes would be my one and only love, but over the years my photography has evolved. I have found myself drawn to subjects that are in ‘disrepair’ or unappealing at a quick glance. Living in Buffalo, a rust-belt city, there is no shortage of this imagery. Old steel factories and grain elevators that are in decay are often overlooked or criticized by the public. I feel that if I can take one of these subjects, that most people don’t like looking at, and turn it into a piece of art that someone wants to hang on their wall, I have done something special. This approach to my work took another step in 2012 as I traveled to South Africa twice. I spent time in of the Townships of the Western Cape and took the same effort in trying to create art out of something that is unattractive on the surface. I found myself in some of the most destitute places on earth, yet meeting some of the nicest, most inspiring and beautiful people…ever! I tried to convey my experience with my photography, create beautiful images, and perhaps draw some attention to important issues all at the same time. 2014 brought out a whole new series, Left Behind, where I explore an issue closer to home – the housing crisis. This series presents the items left after occupants have vacated their homes. The items, not of monetary value, give the viewer a portrait of the people that once lived there.