Photographer Atom Moore Exhibits Unique And Funky ‘Watch Portraits’ At NAWCC Watch And Clock Museum
It’s hard to imagine a big watch event these days without seeing the long, tall, bearded figure of Atom Moore hunched over some ticking object, fully concentrated on some aspect of someone’s timepiece.
If you’re a frequent visitor to watch events in the U.S. and abroad, you’ll likely know that Moore is a New York-based watch photographer who regularly collaborates with Analog/Shift and RedBar.
The association with RedBar is a natural one: Moore’s wife, Kathleen McGivney, is RedBar’s COO, and both Moore and his wife are watch collectors who became turned on to the avocation through contact with the group founded by Adam Craniotes.
Watch Portraits exhibit
From April 30, 2017 the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania will host an exhibition of Moore’s work called Watch Portraits.
“The Museum is always seeking special exhibits that explore the many interesting facets of horology, and Atom’s work brings to life the amazing detail found in the skill of watchmaking,” said museum director Noel Poirier. “We are honored to be able to exhibit Atom’s work and provide our visitors with an opportunity to discover Atom’s unique perspective on horology.”
Moore has a unique eye on his subject: his “portraits” comprise artistic works of watch photography based on one or both of two of his trademark techniques, macro and “mashups.”
Mashup watch photography
“I have been creating Watch Portrait Mashups for the last few years,” explained Moore. “A portrait of a watch has just as much personality as a person does. I try to bring those different personality traits/details out with my Mashups.”
His “mashup” technique comprises composites of several photos.
The most prominent mashup in current circulation is a photo of a number of Rolex GMT-Master bezels put together in composite.
“This is one of my earliest,” Moore told me when I asked where this striking shot (seen above) came from.
“I originally got the idea to start creating the Mashups that I do from the images I was taking for vintage watch retailer Analog/Shift here in New York City. I took all the different versions of Rolex GMT-Master bezels that I had photographed over the first year or so that I worked with Analog/Shift and put them together like concentric rings. I eliminated the face of the watch, entirely choosing to only use parts of the GMT bezel and hour hand at the center of the image. The colors and interesting wear on the bezels are all true to life from the vintage watches they belong to,” Moore explained.
“Part of what inspired me to do this was being exposed to so many different vintage variations of the same watches. Seeing all those bezels really inspired my work!”
“For the ‘Fat Arrow’ image, I took a vintage Omega military watch and played with it,” Moore described another portrait in the exhibition (above). “I removed the numbers and I took the ‘arrows’ seen on five different military watches and placed them all over the dial. The original fat arrow still remains in its original position. People have seen this image and asked if it’s a real watch.
“It is not. Yet . . . “
National Watch and Clock Museum exhibit
Visitors to the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania will take home an incredible wealth of knowledge about the earliest days of keeping time. “The museum is an incredible resource of watch- and clockmaking in the U.S., going back to its very beginning,” Moore agreed.
Moore is also sure that visitors to the Watch Portraits exhibition will take home with them a different viewpoint on details of watches. “With my Mashups I have taken the details of watches that I love and enhanced them to create unique works of art straight out of my watch-obsessed brain,” he elaborated. “It’s not just for watch nerds, though. Most people who appreciate art and design will find the images aesthetically fascinating even if they have no idea that they are looking at the bezels of a Rolex GMT-Master.”
“It’s important to love what you do and look for inspiration in what you love,” Moore summed up his work.
Naturally, I was curious as to whether the photographer has a specific favorite watch.
“My favorite watch is the one that is front of my lens at any given moment,” he perfunctorily answered. “I see so many watches that I can’t really choose a favorite; from a $100 vintage watch to a $1.2 million new independent, I love them all. It would be unfair to the watches to call one my favorite.”
The exhibition opens on April 30, 2017 and continues through December 2017.
For more information, please visit www.nawcc.org/index.php/museum-exhibits/current-exhibits and/or www.atommoore.com/portfolio.
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