Santa Cruz based photographer Gary Irving is a multimedia artist who is known for his highly stylized narrative photo-composites. Irving uses
Photoshop to combine subjects from different frames within a background
to create a story in the manner of a painter. Starting with the concept,
he photographs the subjects in his studio and then places them
digitally into a background. Originally developed for a commissioned
calendar project for the popular Santa Cruz California Derby Girls,
Irving has used this style on four other distinct series: Santa Cruz
skateboarding, Surf Apocalypse, Zombieland, and Dark Portraits.
Having grown up in a small Welsh town, called Swansea, Irving moved to
Santa Cruz in 1994 and has since established himself as one of the
premiere visual artists working in digital medium in Central California.
Originally interested in drawing and painting, Irving incorporated
photography into his practice for source material and to document his
work. Eventually, his interest in photography outgrew his love of paint
and he immersed himself fully in the pursuit of mastering his technique.
In order to make the most cohesive final composition, Irving has to
light the subjects in such a way that they will fit together within the
background without the viewer’s attention being drawn out of the scene
to its construction. Combining the digital and the analog through
photography, sculpture, and narrative, Gary Irving is making compelling
and striking contemporary multi-media art.
“I use Photoflex modifiers because they are high quality products that
create consistent results. In my work I combine several subjects into
one frame so it’s really important for me to have lighting gear I can
count on to be regular and reliable.”