Austin Irving Documents The Strange Underground World Of Caves

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If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you are probably familiar with tourist attractions (also known as tourist traps). Caves are not an uncommon destination for these off-the-highway places, and are often ostentatious with not a lot of intellectual substance. Large-format photographer Austin Irving travelled across America and East Asia photographing these places, which were developed for weary travelers. She titled the series Show Caves.

The caves feature unnatural lighting, revolving doors, public restrooms, and man made design elements. There are penguins, for instance, that line the path of one interior and feels like a disingenuous attempt at showcasing the wonders of the wonders.

There aren’t any crowds in these photos, which allow us to see the attractions clearly. It also showcases the fact that these places are not much different than some place like a suburban shopping mall. (Via Artlog)

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Austin Irving’s Photographs of Portals

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Austin Irving’s current exhibit, Portals, at Curio by AFN truly lives up to its name. Her pictures taken on medium and large format cameras seem like entranceways to secret headquarters or the opening images to an epic film. And no piece emitted that cinematic feeling more, then one taken right in the middle of a natural cave formation that was mounted onto a light-box. The color and shading of the rocks, which was amplified by the backlight, made the work seem 3 dimensional. It was almost like you could walk inside of the piece and hear the water actually dripping from the stalactites onto the floor. My advice is to start collecting Austin’s work now, before it’s totally out of reach.

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