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Ben Zank: The World Through the Eyes of a Surreal Photographer

365 Photography Project

   Ben Zank is a 27-year-old American photographer, based in New York. His photography is a dramatic flair of art, which he believes, speaks for itself and does not come out planned most of the times. He started photography at the age of 18, and halfway through his college, he decided to pursue photography as more than just a hobby.

I picked up the camera when I was 18 after I discover a Pentax ME Super in my grandmother’s attic. Before that, I wasn’t exactly doing much creative stuff. I made a few youtube videos.

Ben Zank - Human Connection, When Words Fail, 2014, minus37.com
Ben Zank - Human Connection, When Words Fail, 2014

Right after this moment, he incubated the “365 project”, which defined his current photography style. He believes that emotions could be depicted through a person’s body language and certain aesthetic angles that represent certain forms of emotions. Some of his works, such as the use of yellow lines on the grey dull road in “Alterego” and use of lines or a certain form of restriction in “When words fail” highlight the use of shapes to derive a particular meaning out of it.

Ben Zank - Brian, minus37.com
Ben Zank - Brian

The Aesthetic Quality of Ben Zank’s Surreal Photography

Using those two elements in one artwork, he does not categorize one meaning in an image. Even though he doesn’t choose places out of the way or is comfortable shooting at convenient places, he ensures that his photographs make the most out of it. He believes in taking as many pictures as possible without invoking any sense of ambition or motive. The series of linear representation through a varied set of images to deliver certain messages is his aesthetic quality.

Ben Zank - Road Service, Alterego Series, minus37.com
Ben Zank - Road Service, Alterego Series

How Does Zank Perceive the World He Captures?

One of his best albums is the “Suits” (2013). The common element throughout the series is the color black, which depicted sadness, remorse and enhanced feature of dullness. Another great factor is that all the characters are wearing black suits, which highlighted the role of intense pressure during the phase of adulthood. This particular series symbolized saving oneself from the clutches of work, which becomes cumbersome with every little time, and represented that how one is fighting his own set of struggles to come out of it. Each image defined different obstacles faced by an individual, who represented a perfect outward appearance but are fighting battles of their own.

Ben Zank - The Bind, The Suits Series, 2013

In one of the interviews, Ben Zank stated that what matters to him before the real shoot is the place. He believes that a comfortable place allows him to think clearly, understand the theme and work tirelessly. Once he is done capturing that place, he hops on to another place of comfort. Just as the dog feels about being domesticated in a digital age, Zank feels that he has a lot to explore in the modern world full of inspiration and opportunities.

All images copyright of Ben Zank.

You can view more work by Ben Zank on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Sonal Chanana

Ben Zank - Transfusion, minus37.com
Ben Zank - Below and Above, minus37com
Ben Zank - Tire, minus37com
Ben Zank - Rust, minus37com

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