Each one of Liu Bolin’s photographs is a powerful social commentary on today’s society, and our overall need to blend in. In fact, he takes this idea of “blending in” quite literally. In his photographs he becomes a part of his surrounding so completely, that sometimes finding him within his work turns into a game of Where’s Waldo. He is the sole subject in most of his works, which means spending 10 hours at a time standing completely still while his assistants paint him into his background of choice.
Last month Liu Bolin participated in a collaboration with street artist JR (he deserves a post of his own but you can read up on him here). For this project Liu painted JR into his own large scale photo mural which is actually a portrait of Liu’s eye, taken by JR. Confusing, I know. It took me a minute to figure it out myself. The project has a bit of an “Inception”, dream within a dream vibe. The photo is up now on the corner of Elizabeth and Spring in NYC.
For a collaboration with BAZAAR magazine Liu painted iconic designers Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, Jean Paul Gaultier, Angela Missoni and Maria Grazia Chiuri & Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino into their work. The project depicts how designers become so completely engrossed in their work that they become a permanent part of it.