chris jordan photography

posted by the scholar on March 11th, 2008
filed under: art, photography

hold onto your hats folks, as you look at these unreal large scale works from seattle artist chris jordan. this series is entitled running the numbers and depicts the surprising (and frequently depressing) statistics relating to consumerism, politics and crime — literally. chris created this series to have a look at contemporary american culture through the harsh lens of statistics. each image portrays a specific quantity of something (seen below, in increasing zoom view, in order): one million plastic cups, the amount used on us airline flights every six hours; 32,000 barbie dolls, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the us in 2006; or 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.







chris has created these images in the hopes we will better relate to these sobering facts by visual communication, rather than simply staring at the plain, bottom-line numbers we see in the paper or in books. these very large, highly detailed prints are assembled from thousands of smaller photographs, and the goal is to recognize the impact, actions and importance of each of us, single individuals, in the ever-growing, perplexing and intense culture we inhabit.




chris feels that the impact of these prints is lost a bit when viewing on the computer screen, but i tend to disagree. sure it would be more profound an experience to see these grand-scale works in person, but to me, the point and the fact come through loud and clear, and that’s enough in my book to make a lasting impression.

chris is currently exhibiting this series now through june 8th, 2008 at the allen art museum at oberlin college in ohio. be sure to check out more of these amazing works on chris’ website, and stay tuned too — this series is a work in progress and new images will be posted as they are completed.

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12 Responses to “chris jordan photography”

  1. technabob Says:

    All I can say is “Wow.” I can’t imagine what these would look like in person.

  2. the scholar Says:

    hi bob,

    they are so intriguing, aren’t they? i can honestly say that i have NEVER seen (or even imagined) anything like these works. and i can’t picture the impact they would have in person what with their size. they are truly unique.

    thanks for the visit!

  3. christina Says:

    I love it!!

  4. the scholar Says:

    hi christina,

    what a lovely surprise to see you – i know how busy you are! glad you are enjoying these photos too.

    thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. sosser Says:

    i say wow, too. very powerful and thought-provoking. and beautiful.

    thanks for finding!

  6. the scholar Says:

    hi sosser,


    thanks for popping over!

  7. Michelle Says:

    Freaking a, this is amazing and so freaking depressing at the same time. I love this work, and thank you for making it more available through your blog.

  8. the scholar Says:

    hi michelle,

    exactly! it is successful and emotional and awesome all at the same time. i am glad you love it too.

    nice to see you!

  9. Carson Says:

    So interesting, thanku for introducing me to this artist’s work gigi 🙂

  10. the scholar Says:

    hello carson,

    it is frightening to think about the society we live in while looking at these works. it almost feels bleak to me, but it’s still mesmerizing. i am happy that you are enjoying these pieces too.

    so glad to see you! 🙂

  11. fru Says:

    amazing work!
    I’ve always been fascinated by picture where the size and the position of the observer makes the difference, there is aways a new point of view to discover!

  12. the scholar Says:

    hi fru,

    yes i agree – the scale on these pieces is so monumental and forces you to look at things – literally and figuratively – from a different perspective.

    i imagine seeing these photos in person would make a person feel small, sort of like being in the woods. fascinating.

    i’m happy that you stopped by – thanks!

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