Businessmen on BlackBerries. Orthodox Jews. Men and women, young and old. Joseph O. Holmes has captured all of them in the act. The act of texting, that is. In the 50-something-year-old's latest series, viewers are presented with photographs that train the spotlight on individuals intently focused on their tiny smartphone screens, even when walking down the middle of a sidewalk or across the street. "By sharpening his focus around the texter and letting the background go blurry," Art News Worldwide wrote of the project, "Holmes manages to underscore the way these devices can isolate us without coming across as harshly polemical."
And they definitely do isolate us. In almost all of these photographs, the subject is placed squarely in a beautiful environment. Sharp colors, an inviting patch of grass, outdoor seating on a sunny afternoon. Nothing is enough to pull these people out of their digital worlds. One photograph -- the series has been embedded below with the permission of the artist -- even shows a man standing in the middle of an art gallery. But he has managed to tune that out, too.
Holmes, who was taught by his father how to develop his own photographs while growing up in rural Pennsylvania, has been featured in dozens of shows across the United States. His numerous awards include honorable mention in the Silver Eye Gallery's Fellowship Competition, curator's commendation at the Houston Center for Photography and a spot in the top 50 in Critical Mass/Photolucida. He is represented by the Jen Bekman Gallery in New York City and more of his work can be found at his online portfolio.
All images courtesy Joseph O. Holmes.
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