5 questions for terry border (bent objects)

posted by the scholar on December 3rd, 2009
filed under: artists, humor, miniviews, photography

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Couldn’t we all use a good laugh everyday? For quite some time I’ve been relying on Indianapolis artist Terry Border’s quirky images that he creates for his website, Bent Objects, to get the job done (you might recall that I’m a big fan). Fortunately for all of us his talents were spotted by the right people, and just recently he released Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things, a terrific book filled with his original, laugh-out-loud funny photographs. Terry’s appealing images showcase loads of visceral humor to make you howl, but are tempered with just enough thought and emotion to make you look twice. Think about it and look at that photo above (which also happens to be the cover of the book) – how many of us have ever felt like that potato chip walking in on his mate? Yup. Now raise your hand if you want to know more about the brains behind this wonderfully creative operation…

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Gigi: When I look at your collection of photographs, I’m immediately struck (and quite impressed) by your tremendously agile imagination. Do you find that your ideas flow easily, or do you have a more methodical approach when putting a new image together?

Terry: Basically, the idea just comes from out of the blue, or I think really hard about an object, then later when I don’t expect it, my subconscious makes a connection. Then I go “hey, that works!”

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G: Speaking of your subconscious, what’s the most outlandish idea you’ve had for an image but never photographed?

T: I honestly can’t think of one. If it’s a good idea, it gets made.  I started a more adult blog just so I didn’t ever have to censor myself.

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G: I know I howl out loud whenever your new images get published, and there is true freedom in the internet space, but I’m wondering now if you’ve ever shown your work in person and seen the impact it has up front and personal?

T: When I’ve given presentations to a group, it’s pretty cool to hear the laughs and get that kind of feedback. I enjoy that.  A lot of times though, I’m uncomfortable when an individual pages through my book for the first time with me there, and feels the pressure of “getting it” right away. Some of my images take a second or two to come together in your head, and having me around while that happens ruins the enjoyment for the person, and makes me feel strange too.

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G: I get that. I’ve had that feeling personally delivering my photographs to buyers and then wondering if they’ll like them in person.

I’m curious to know if you have a favorite part of your process, e.g., the handcrafting of the doodads or the actual taking of the photographs?

T: I would have two favorite parts of the process, I suppose. After I get a real vision for what the image is going to be about, and towards the end, when I’m really happy with the feel of it. In between those two points is a bunch of figuring things out.

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G: I’ll take the liberty of speaking for your fans here when I say you aren’t the only one who is happy when the image comes together at the end! You bring a lot of joy to people with the unique elements of humor and surprise in your work. Do you think you reveal any other aspects of your personality in your collection?

T: Oh, sure. I think whenever we create anything, we reveal stuff about ourselves. There are some images in the book that show some problems I have and deal with. The only one I’ll mention is the “At the Party” image, which is pretty autobiographical.

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G: Hmmm. I think we’ve all been there. Actually some of us might want to approach the one cheeto, er, person, that doesn’t seem to be like everyone else. Good things can happen.

I am cuckoo for cocoa puffs about your book and am secretly (now openly) hoping volume 2 is in the works. Thanks so much for treating all of us to a lighthearted, whimsical way of looking at the world, and sharing with us how you do it. You’ve got serious skills!

T: My pleasure, Gigi. Thanks for talking about Bent Objects.

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Pop over and say hi to Terry on his website, or stop by his Etsy shop. Purchase the book online at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Amazon UK. It’s US $17.95, and published by Running Press.

Need I mention that it would make a most excellent gift for someone with a great sense of humor?

Yes. Yes, I think I should.

Thank you Terry!

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13 Responses to “5 questions for terry border (bent objects)”

  1. hena tayeb Says:

    haha.. that is hilarious..

  2. sosser Says:

    great interview! i LOVE his sense of humor and unique way of seeing the world. good stuff!

  3. tigerglow Says:

    i like this kind of humor. is there more?

  4. Mattias Adolfsson Says:

    Great Interview!

  5. Maryam in Mali Says:

    Where oh where are you?

  6. deb Says:

    I had never seen this work before, I am crying I’m laughing so hard, thanks for sharing. BTW I came by way of Paul’s blog!

  7. Camila F. Says:

    I love his work! So funny!

  8. sarah hemm Says:

    I love the concept of making something and the added dimension of the photograph. Great interview, love his work!

  9. JBStudioArte Says:

    Hilarious. Great interview!

  10. Gadgets 4 Guys Says:

    So there were a couple of pictures that I had to do a double take on but loved particulars (i.e. the leaf one).

  11. Laura Says:

    This is absolutely fantastic !

  12. best flatware Says:

    The pics are really awesome. I am in love with’em….

  13. Julia Rudolph Says:

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