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September 2, 2020


Photography by Jake Dylan
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Jake Dylan is a abstract and conceptual photographer from New York, USA. The subject of his work is not the objects photographed, but rather the appearance of those objects. He assesses objects in terms of tones and shapes allowing for the divorce of those objects from their figurative meanings and places in the world. This, as a result, has enabled Jake, the exploration of the line between representation and abstraction.

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."

"How could it not be?"


TPL: Jake, when did you start getting interested in photography?

JD: My grandfather was a photographer and an art dealer, so I more or less grew up with a camera in my hands.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration?

JD: In my own work. Subconscious patterns begin to take shape and reveal themselves over time, and when a pattern makes itself seen, I explore it more deeply.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us?

JD: Ray Metzker, El Lissitzky (his paintings more than his photographs), Aleksandr Rodchenko, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Ralph Gibson, and Fred Sandback.

TPL: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

JD: Yes. Style is a consequence, not a goal, so it is inherently ever-shifting.

TPL: Where is your favourite place to photograph?

JD: The street.

TPL: How does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone wanting to start out in your genre of photography?

JD: What matters more is what you point the camera at rather than what you are pointing with. That being said, it is important to understand and explore a variety of equipment in order to know what best suits the subject that is being pointed at.

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?

JD: Although I did grow up with photography, I wanted to pursue acting for most of my teens. There came a point in time when I realised that I had far more questions about photography than acting, however, and a much stronger drive to explore those questions rather than any I had in regards to acting.

TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on?

JD: I am continuously exploring the line between representation and abstraction in photographs, and that exploration shows up in various forms.

TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)...

JD: Probably something creative, maybe acting, maybe something to do with fashion. Or I would go a different route altogether and make a life out of activism for environmental protection and/or animal rights."