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Crisp, Clean Photographs by Sam Kaplan

A photo of a tube of lipstick embedded in a lump of rock


Sam Kaplan is a photographer based in New York. His crisp, clean photographs feature food, drinks, beauty products and other still-life objects on monochromatic backgrounds with stark, lighting.


A recent project of Kaplan’s saw the artist creating expansive landscapes out of food products. I love his pyramid of packaged cookies, and in another photograph, a deep pit of snack cakes. It’s quite interesting, the way that Kaplan is able to create such a sense of depth using relatively small building blocks. I wonder how long it took to put these assemblages together – and if they got eaten after the photos were taken!


A photo of a large pyramid of packaged cookies


Kaplan’s other photographs have a tendency to make the subject matter look monolithic and highly stylized. Unlike other creators of this kind of striking, polished photography, he rarely photographs human subjects. Kaplan's still-life photographs capture everyday items including electronics, sports equipment, pharmaceuticals and tools, arranging them elegantly as patterns, and in deconstructed arrangements of parts. 

A photo of a pattern of tools on an orange background

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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