Vessey’s photographic art honours the past, reminding us of the things we cherish and what they mean to us. By shooting them using medium and large-format photography he draws our attention to the physicality of objects and magnifies their significance. As he describes, ‘Some of the collections span a long time in someone’s life; it’s not just something they’ve gone out and bought in one weekend. Building the collection may have been a part of their consciousness for years and, as it grows, it becomes more important.
These ordinary yet extraordinary objects have a particular quality or resonance that over time has garnered them cult status, such as the UK style bibles I.D and The Face magazines which have both featured in his work. Iconic and symbolic, these humble items have become touchstones in people’s lives, encapsulating an era or a moment in time. Vessey’s work aims to capture the beauty in these cherished ephemeral, paying tribute to them not only as physical artefacts but also to what they evoke and signify.
Since art school Vessey has long been inspired by the New York underground and Pop Art scenes and their associated artists Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, admiring the energy and unpretentious simplicity.
There is a clear affinity to Pop Art in his approach, like the original Pop artists Vessey’s photographs elevate manmade articles to artistic dignity. In a similar way to Pop Art Vessey uses scale, oversizing his subjects to transform them and draw attention to their details. Pop Art merged mass culture with fine art, infusing it to create artwork that was accessible. It is this approachability that is also important in Vessey’s art. As an artist he aims to create work that is both unpretentious and accessible, since pop culture is a shared culture, something that can bring us joy and devotion, that breaks down barriers and connects us all.