Private Eyes
Private Eyes

Private Eyes, they’re watching you: Photo essay

Apparently giant eyeballs are a little off-putting when placed on the street

Back in 2010 and 2011, I began working for illustrator Raymond Biesinger. We were both living in Montreal (Raymond still holds down the fort there), and I had recently graduated from Concordia’s graphic design program. Most of my tasks were semi-menial – packing and trudging to the poste took up most of my time – but it was one of the best jobs I’d ever had. I also consider it to be something of an impromptu internship.

Raymond taught me how elements in art, specifically in digital illustration, are all components of a grander picture. And, if you look closely, those elements tend to repeat themselves. Deconstructed decoupage? Upcycled art? Or maybe it’s just an efficient use of time.

Years later I’ve noticed a similar theme in my own digital work – backgrounds are reused and recoloured, text patterns are revisited and eyeballs repeat themselves.

Several weeks ago I discovered several discs of heavy plywood behind my office space – I believe they came from the mysterious workshop with the wood-cutting robots (robots!) in the basement that packed up long ago. Re-creating the digital components into the physical world, I was able to copy and paste these elements into an otherwise mundane landscape in order to quickly document them before taking them to the next real-life artboard.

As it turns out, working outside of the digital realm is not an easy task. Each eyeball weighs at least 30lbs, and takes up the entirety of the trunk, the back seat and the front seat of the car.

Also, public reaction wasn’t exactly positive. Apparently giant eyeballs are a little off-putting when placed on the street.

Even so, this one is dedicated to the delivery driver who yelled at me on the corner of 1st Avenue and 22nd Street – your unsolicited feedback was paramount to the process.