A Nail’s Life

That’s the name of this collection of photographs by Vlad Artazov, which a friend of mine shared with me through Facebook. I was really quite taken with these, even though the central premise of the collection is the kind of thing that surely half of all photography students have tried in one form or another early in their careers, namely personification of inanimate objects. These photos really do it wonderfully, though, in my view.

With just a few simply twists and a mirror, he’s captured perfectly that moment of self-critical modesty that so many of us have experienced with our appearance at one point or another. Where a lesser artist might have been tempted to dress the nail up in a new outfit, I think in this, as will all the other photographs, Artazov’s less-is-more approach works wonders. And who knows, perhaps you see something completely different in this picture. But whatever situation is depicted, I’m quite certain that I’m looking at a living creature with thoughts and feelings, even though there’s not even a hint of arms, legs, or even a face to express emotion.

Another favorite of mine is below the fold, but  really, the entire set deserves some perusing. There is too much humanity in those nails to miss out on.


About Colin West
Colin West is a graduate student in quantum information theory, working at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. Originally from Colorado (where he attended college), his interests outside of physics include politics, paper-folding, puzzles, playing-cards, and apparently, plosives.

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