Through the use of the photographic image, Tony Maj is concerned with the manipulation of evidence. Employing a self-confessional approach to conjure both the physical and psychological, he transforms familiar environments, objects or settings to create scenarios charged with tension, intimacy and possible truths. We speak to Maj to explore his longlisted piece Solace in the Aesthetica Art Prize call for entries countdown.
A: Your work is concerned with the manipulation of evidence. Are there any events, personal or global, which drew you to this theme?
TM: Being studio based means I have to build my own staged themes. Mostly they are about things that I have witnessed or are a reflection on the intimate scale that shadows human behaviour.
A: Your longlisted work, Solace, was created after admiring a set of utilitarian dining chairs. How has your previous occupation as a furniture maker equipped you for photography?
TM: I think the biggest advantage that furniture making has given me, is the freedom and skills to design and construct. I’m use to looking for shapes and working with ideas that constantly need changing before they become a believable space.
A: Your approach is to explore the palette of colour. How do you go about deciding this palette?
TM: I use colour to help me find form and reflect the emotion that I want to suggest. A single application of colour has a way of touching the surface to determine the space. It becomes a “thing” happening in a place, revealing itself slowly and continuously.
A: Drawing tension and intimacy from familiar environments, objects or settings is one of your aims. How did you hope viewers would react to this tension?
TM: Firstly, I hope they embrace my aspiration to challenge and provoke through a visual evocation of this. There’s a definite state of flux as the viewers try to make sense of it and locate themselves in the work. Solitude of the picture is important to me and I think that’s a quality that most people share, understand and ultimately react to.
To see more of Tony Maj’s work, visit www.tonymaj.co.uk
Enter the Aesthetica Art Prize: www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize
1. Tony Maj, Solace.