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Physical Photo-Manipulation by Richard Galpin

A collage created of scalpel-cut strips of photographsBrace III (Breach), peeled photograph

Check out these amazing works of physical photo-manipulation by Richard Galpin! Galpin is a British artist who uses photographs as a base medium in his artworks, but takes the medium much further than we might be used to seeing. He is most well known for his works where he used a scalpel to cut photographs into thin strips, rearranging them into completely new images.


An installation of wall-mounted photos treated with sanding and paintElephant (Ten Thousand Revolutions per Minute), orbital sanded photographs, steel and stud track, automotive paint

Galpin’s scalpel works are barely recognizable as photographs, something that I find fascinating looking at them. I like that this artist uses a finished product as his medium - particularly the fact that these aren’t simply found photographs, but rather photographs that Galpin himself has taken. It creates a really interesting back story to each work, and a mystery as the viewer wonders what the original might have looked like even while appreciating the geometric, structured form of the new cut piece.


Galpin recently held an exhibition at the Hales Gallery in London, where he is displayed a series of large-scale photos that had been sanded and painted, creating a similar mystery around the work but with a different method.


A collaged image made from small strips of photographSplinter XIII, peeled photograph

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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