INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr IMAGES Eric Randall Morris on Instagram
When we spotted American architect and artist Eric Randall Morris’s dreamy images on Instagram, we decided to get in touch and find out what his striking work is all about.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m formally trained as an architect, though I have always been a daydreamer. Receiving my B.S. Arch from Georgia Tech and my M. Arch from MIT, I developed a background in visual media and a passion for spatial composition. I grew up and down the East Coast of the United States and every home has left an imprint on me. I was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised on an island in the Chesapeake Bay. The sprawling McMansion suburbs on the Northern edge of Metro Atlanta, and the row houses and walkups of Cambridge, Massachusetts are all recurrent sources of inspiration for me. Now, newly relocated to San Francisco CA by way of Boston, I’m looking forward to further immersing myself into the art and architecture scene.
Your pictures in three words are…?
Dystopian / Metaphysical / Dreamlike.
How would you describe your work?
I started this project with homes on my walks around Boston – where I lived after I finished grad school. The different oddities that are found on the facades of homes, houses and buildings interested me and made me question what post-processes are performed to adapt the building to the user’s needs and wants. So what started as an attempt to catalogue an index of the contemporary American Vernacular(s), transformed into a continually evolving visual exercise of the elevation and facades of the cities and suburbs around me. It’s about actualising my daydreams, and fabricating these surreal new worlds through two dimensions.
What process goes into creating your images?
Once I have the photo, I take it right into Photoshop where I start distorting and correcting the image. Editing these photos is different each time; some stay simple while others become much larger undertakings. Transforming these images into orthographic projections can be meticulous but the colours / symmetry / emergent patterns are elements I try and explore and experiment with each time I compose one. The captions always help tell the story I’m imagining, so sometimes the words help direct me more so than the material I’m working on. Either way, the idea may not start out distinct, but after a bit of playing around something will always surface.
Where do you find the buildings you feature?
All over! I love to travel and take photos everywhere I go. Typically, they are to and from my way to work, or while I’m on my lunch break, but if there’s ever a nice day with some great sunlight I’ll take a walk around a new neighbourhood and go house hunting.
What are you trying to encapsulate though your pieces?
An uncomfortable sense of awe. The notion that what you’re seeing is just a representation of your surroundings, and when read as a collective, are just a curated simulation of things we pass by every day. That what we consider normal is not actually normal; it’s odd, it’s strange, it’s obscure, it’s nonsensical. That normal things deserve to be looked at and dreamt about.
How has Instagram helped or influenced your work?
The creative community on Instagram inspires me every day. I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by such a compelling and diverse group of individuals who push boundaries, expose issues, experiment visually, and challenge me to push creatively every day. Having such a digital proximity to these people is something I never expected to have – and meeting them while traveling has given me friends and contemporaries all over the world.
How can people get a hold of your work?
Great question! Up until now every commission I’ve received has been through Instagram. Anything from large-format printing, original drawings and postcards to artist collaborations have all began through a direct message on Instagram. So if anyone is interested scroll through my gallery and inbox me @ericrandall and I’ll be happy to get that conversation started!
Any exciting plans for the future?
Absolutely! I’m currently working with a webmaster to build an online store which has been a labour of love all on its own, while also putting together a personal comprehensive monograph titled, All My Friends are Ghosts. It has everything from the past few years of my work, so it’s an ambitious project. Should be wrapping that up by the beginning of next year – so I’ll keep VISI posted! Beyond that I’ve been busy adjusting to a new job at my architecture firm and this amazing city that I’m surrounded by.
Follow Eric on Instagram to keep up to date with what he’s creating.