Ian Whitmore is a freelance photographer, art director and web designer who has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Photography from Indiana University. Born in Nebraska, he currently teaches in the Chicago area including at Columbia University where he is an adjunct professor in photography. His photographic images record places and people from numerous states and Europe. He began his photography career by taking photos of punk rock shows in Nebraska and went on from there to focus on every-day, mundane subjects. His explorations of the ordinary are “to inspire conversation, rather than take things for granted or misunderstand their importance.” Source: http://www.wonderfulunion.com/gallery_mustwarnothers.php
When I first looked through Ian Whitmore’s portfolio on line, my reaction was one of disinterest and lack of excitement, as I personally don’t enjoy man-made “ordinary” or “mundane.” I strive not to be “ordinary” and in that way Ian’s photographs remind me of what I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding—the boring and ordinary, and the clutter of existence. Many of Ian’s photographs also remind me of those I took as a child growing up—photos of rooms, a house, a street, a bridge– the mundane and ordinary parts of a person’s life. So, these are photos I can take, anyone can take…what is so special?
After I looked at his photos again and again to figure out why I disliked them so much, I realized that, if I let myself, I had a different, less judgmental reaction. Instead of resistance and distain, the “Nowhere” photo series began to elicit a deeper reaction—a chill, a dead lonely feeling, a fear of being surrounded by emptiness of buildings and streets and empty rooms–the feeling of a meaningless life. This certainly fits with the description of Ian’s purpose: “to inspire conversation, rather than take things for granted or misunderstand their importance.”