Francisco Diaz & Deb Young: The Playground Series

Francisco Diaz & Deb Young: The Playground Series
International Photography Grant 2019

Beneath the surface of The Playground Series is an underlying tension cloaked in innocent fun. We created this series as a visual metaphor for the condition in our highly stratified world where social relationships reflect a low degree of integration and meaningful interaction coupled with a high degree of isolation between individuals in a community environment.

The Playground Series was created as part of a unique example of The International Collaboration Project. The ICP was meant to be a creative “solution” to artistic isolation by bringing artist/photographers together from different continents blending creative energies to design exceptional works as an example of true cooperation amongst global strangers in these difficult times.

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

Authors: Francisco Diaz (USA) + Deb Young (New Zealand) – 30

While a photo montage isn’t a new concept, most modern artists use the form to create surreal or fantastic images. What is different about this collaboration is an eerie sense of reality, which itself is an ironic refutation of photography as truth.” Writer Teresa Politano – Inside Jersey Magazine

The idea that two artist photographers — one male, the other female — can work together while being separated by a vast ocean of 8,000 miles, is revolutionary — but such is the nature of this groundbreaking exploration, The International Collaboration Project by Francisco Diaz (USA) + Deb Young (New Zealand). Embracing the 21st century digital era sparked this innovation where art photographers collaborate from different corners of the globe, blending creative energies as an example of true cooperation amongst global strangers in these difficult times.

Described as “disturbingly beautiful”, their images have given rise to the term “cinematic narrative photomontages.” This enterprising spirit links them to inspirational photographers like Jerry Uelsmann, Julie Blackmon, Tom Chambers and Gregory Crewdson. In pushing boundaries, Diaz + Young’s radical approach to collaborative montage is unique in photographic history. They don’t use models, props or set-ups, but create from totally random images. Though separated by more than 8,000 miles, their collaborative process encompasses working together remotely in real time on one piece and viewing through each other’s camera. Using gender differences, they infuse their narrative work with a masculine/feminine sensibility. Many series are plot related not just theme related, with an underlying lo-fi sensibility.

Website: diaz-young.com

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

The Playground Series © Francisco Diaz & Deb Young

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International Photography Grant 2019