Jim Baab

Pomelo Tigress I
Archival Pigment Print
Photographic Illusions

Media: Photography

Arts at the Armory
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Artist Statement

As a visual person, I notice and photograph many things; but, my main passion is creating simple photographic illusions that utilize well-placed geometry, including the human form and organic patterns. Read on for an explanation of what my current focus: pareidolia.

Preface: Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists. Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, or, the man in the moon. Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst best known for developing the Rorschach test. This test was reportedly designed to reflect unconscious parts of the personality that "project" onto the stimuli. In the test, individuals are shown 10 inkblots—one at a time—and asked to report what objects or figures they see in each of them.

Process: My creative process for an ongoing series that I call ‘Exploring Pareidolia’ takes advantage of a live, in-camera, digital reflection effect which produces symmetrical views of everyday scenes and still life. By subtly repositioning and rotating the camera’s perspective, while in this mirrored mode, I am able to align the resulting geometric patterns in ways that create grotesque hearts, winged creatures, war masks, genitalia, otherworldly artifacts, and fantastic beasts - illusions that elevate the mundane in a very Rorschachian way.

Artist Bio:

Somerville, MA artist Jim Baab photographs everyday objects, scenes, and the human form, with an eye for light, line, and illusion. Since taking his hobby more seriously in 2011, his artwork has been chosen for national and international group exhibitions in TN, CA, MA, MI, VT, TX, and Budapest, Hungary. His awards and recognition include a Gold Artist award for ArtAscent magazine’s Vol. 8, ‘Hidden’ issue, and, being chosen as the sole visual artist featured in the Boston-themed, 40th issue of POESY, a bicoastal poetry magazine.