Interviews

A Photographer Who Paints with Light

by Hrag Vartanian on September 6, 2013

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Jeremy “Tackyshack” Jackson, “35mm Tacky Light Garden” (2013) (all images via artist’s Flickstream and used with permission of the artist)

Jeremy “Tackyshack” Jackson‘s photography is a burst of silky color across a darkened universe. A 34-year-old teacher in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Jackson discovered light photography only four years ago by playing around with glow sticks in front of a point and shoot camera.

"Tackyman Clown Shoes" (2011)

“Tackyman Clown Shoes” (2011)

“The biggest thing about light photography that interests me is the ability to create in real time at the location of your choice, capture your efforts in a single photographic frame, and leave the space without any evidence of the art happening,” Jackson told Hyperallergic. ”In addition to this special quality, it’s a nocturnal art and I’m a night owl. It’s also a physically active art form which is best for me so I can stay in motion … I never stop getting excited about planning and executing a light painting and looking at the display on the back of my camera. It all still feels magical.”

He explains that his fascination with abstraction and patterns began when he was a child. “The awesome thing about patterns is that they exist everywhere in everything. Most people don’t pay attention to them but I see them in everything all of the time because I’m looking for them I suppose,” he says.

He’s not driven by a vision for his photography but a playfulness that clearly comes through in the images and is created from the serendipity of the right moment, the perfect space, and the proper tools. After he discovered something called light photography, he sought out fellow aficionados. “Once I discovered all of the wonderful possibilities of what could be created after seeing photos from artists such as LAPP Pro, tcb, Trevor Williams, Chris Renfro, and Jannepaint, I had to get a DSLR and join the party,” he says.

He’s never exhibited his work and makes all his photos available to download on Flickr at high resolution because he feels that anyone should be able to use them to their liking.

“The only thing I might be opposed to would be if someone claimed it was their own work,” he says. “Even then, I wouldn’t put my photos online if I didn’t know this was a risk. Ultimately, I want my art to be as accessible as possible. I’m not looking to make money, just share the magic.”

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“Technicolor Snow Orb Forest” (2012)

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“The Portal Is a Lie” (2012)

"Forest Flowers Redux" (2013)

“Forest Flowers Redux” (2013)

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“Leave No Footprints” (2013)

Tackyshack, "Tacky Flower Full Moon Party" (2013) (all images via artist's Flickstream and used with permission of the artist)

“Tacky Flower Full Moon Party” (2013)

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“Tunnel DLW Circle” (2012)

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“Light Painting Another Landscape” (2012)

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“And Out of the Shadows They Appear” (2012)

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“Tackyman Meets Blinky” (2011)

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“Light Men at the Restaurant” (2011)

For more images, visit flickr.com/tackyshack.

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