Photography

Nine Ninety-Nine Only Store: Free Artisan Wallpaper

The NINE NINETY-NINE ONLY STORE offers downloadable high-resolution photography for $9.99 free. Download free high-quality photos for wallpaper or prints!

The “$9.99 Only Store” came from a funny realization when I was looking for food one day. The prices at a religious and health foods market in Los Angeles called Lassen’s Market. All of the food, big and small was $9.99! I am watching prices rise and rise at the 99¢ Only Store and it is soon going to be a $9.99 Only Store as well.

I began this store as a store, but very few people buy art anymore and I was exhausted by the constant finicky behavior of WooCommerce. So now here we have local/global artisan free wallpaper, high-quality images, for desktops or for printing.

Laguna Beach Shoreline

Laguna Beach Shoreline, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Laguna Beach Shoreline, 2008, Photograph

A quick capture from a flashbulb blends the impressions of moving wind and sea from two seconds’ worth of an open shutter. The still frame records subtle lights from palpitating waves along this Laguna Beach shoreline. The scene is blurry yet in focus. It offers muted golden lights dancing at the base of the sand. These lights look as if water intermingles with tides at the bottom of the ocean floor.

The capture offers physical proximity, time, and place attached to it. The photograph was taken at midnight in Spring 2009 at Thalia Street Beach near the center part of this South Orange County town. Laguna Beach is an artistic destination that for some has never been a destination but home. I went to high school at neighboring Dana Hills High School and I worked at Fingerhut Gallery with a few of the Growlers on Forest Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway before it imploded.

Laguna Beach Shoreline can be printed beautifully on paper or used as high-quality wallpaper for a desktop.


Download Gold Waves at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_13_-_8x10rgb-1.jpg.


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Running Hill

Running Hill, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Running Hill, 2011, Photograph

The specter of some lost party runs atop a looming hill before the sun low in the sky completely sets. Below the dusky horizon, fractured light creates a myriad of colorful pulses which complement the sad colors of the early evening. The action of running is the centerpiece of the photo overlay which captures a set of black and white figures stark in motion. At the pinnacle of the dark hill, cool tones of blue, green, and purple almost bleed underneath the swollen charcoal sky. Running Hill can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper for a computer desktop.


Download Gold Waves at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_07_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Gold Waves

Gold Waves, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Gold Waves, 2005, Photograph

Elements of warmth and whimsy illuminate this conceptual twist on a modernist composition. Despite the contemporary style of Gold Waves, the imagery retains a fanciful, even fairy tale, quality. Conceivably, the rippling tide of golden currents unfurls like the hair from Rapunzel’s tower. Or peradventure, Rumpelstiltskin has spun a mountain of straw into gold thread.

Materially, the photograph captures the motion of a fan beating inside its encasement. Repeating in a pattern like a flowing current, the blades seem to vibrate, rather than spin, within the cage. Gold Waves can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper for a computer desktop.


Download Gold Waves at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_02_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Ice Fog

Ice Fog, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Ice Fog, 2012, Photograph

Life on this moon may not be found on the surface but in the sky. The burst of cool blue light glows in ice fog as if it holds an energy source of its own. The midnight star brightens small bits of icy frost permeating a barren skyscape defined by the pathos of a vanished civilization. The atmosphere surrounding the noon moon sun is on a distant planet that makes hopeful space cadets wish for water. Ice Fog can be printed beautifully on paper or used as wallpaper for a computer desktop.


Download Ice Fog at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_22_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Shampoo

Shampoo, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Shampoo, 2004

Instant recognition of bright, showy colors propels the viewer into a voyeuristic tour of consumer culture. In Shampoo, a telephoto lens extracts an image of misty, warm-colored shapes. They are seemingly lifted from the personal hygiene aisle of a grocery store. This trio of visually vague, but subconsciously unmistakable, commercial products fades into a pop art fog, transforming the banal into the exotic. The line-up of plastic bottles features gradients of minimalist shapes and contours of mass-produced goods and can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper for a desktop.


Download Shampoo at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_19_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Tectonic Trees

Tectonic Trees, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Tectonic Trees, 2012, Photograph

Long, slender tree branches reach up from the sunny cliffs of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. The puzzle-like design they create resembles both a geological map of tectonic plates and the municipal grid pattern of the underlying city. Further up the limbs, a winding set of wooden fingers stretches toward a twinkling periwinkle sky, while a vibrant spray of African lilies dances in the cool, soothing breeze. A luminescent image overlay engenders an airy quality to the trees. They seem to stand closer to the sun than to the earth below. Tectonic Trees can be printed beautifully on paper or used as high-quality wallpaper for a computer desktop.

VOTE4ART

Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami featured Tectonic Trees during world-famous Art Basel in Miami, Florida. Artbox.Projects, which exhibited the artwork at its booth, features many artworks by artists from all over the world. This Swiss-based group launched a mobile voting platform for artwork called VOTE4ART at their booth during these events. Thousands of spectators at the event as well as many more mobile VOTE4ART users voted Tectonic Trees as winner.


Download Explorers at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_09_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Explorers

Explorers, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Explorers, 2011, Photograph

A mid-century mystery man looms in the background of this noir-inspired image. Explorers melds the cool undertones of Griffith Park with the warm under-glow of Los Angeles. The city’s landscape acts like its underlying tectonic plates; while the still, natural landscape of Griffith Park rests high above, the rapid, immediate movement of city life traverses below. The soft, wavy, brushstroke-like quality reflects the style of 19th-century British romantic landscape painter J. M. W. Turner. Explorers can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper for a computer desktop.


Download Explorers at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_15_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Filament Light

Filament Light, Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Filament Light, 2005, Photograph

A spark of Filament glimmers and grows swaddled in a membrane of light, protected by its hard but fragile shell. Like paint on canvas, light on paper is the photographer’s brushstroke. Filament reveals the genesis of its luminescence and thus the palette of photographic expression. Filament Light can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper for a desktop.


Download Filament Light (2480 x 1984 pixels) at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_06_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Infinite Movement (Umbrella)

Infinite Movement (Umbrella), Free Wallpaper

Chris Girard, Infinite Movement (Umbrella), 2003

Electricity, a cornerstone of modernity, inspires the concept of infinite movement in a twisting umbrella. Both mechanical structure and ghost-like shadows weave realism and abstraction together. This also establishes a notion of duration in the image. The rendition of a moving gear looks like an electric current. And the clockwise flow perpetuates the belief that there is no stopping the machine.

What can be considered a photograph taken a century after the height of a modernist movement over a century ago is not so old. Both time and motion conjure the energy behind a ticking clock that accelerates the pace of life and can also liberate stillness. Innovation, the radical departure from the universal beliefs that had preceded in the past, is such an iconoclasm.

Infinite Movement (Umbrella) can be printed beautifully on paper or as high-quality wallpaper.


Download Infinite Movement (Umbrella)
at http://chrisgirard.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/girard_-_03_-_8x10rgb.jpg.


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Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects
Other Humans: Strange Documentary Photos

Other Humans: Strange Documentary Photos

Even as an introvert, it was easy to meet people.

I am very attracted to people who lead strange and interesting lives. My friends didn’t have regular jobs at the time. I didn’t have a regular job. I have only ever been invited to weird weddings. I have connected well with people through social networking. I have met many others through music venues, like Koo’s Cafe, in the early 2000s. There are people everywhere. But I can only photograph people that I connect with. I failed a photojournalism class because I couldn’t connect with people. (Here’s to you for keeping your high ratio of graduating professional photojournalists intact, Ken Kobre.) 

Now, I’m a videographer.

I have been a videographer at the Echoplex since a darkwave New Years Eve night for Part Time Punks fated me to figure out how to do it. So now I work more with video and film than with photography. Los Angeles is a film city. I work as a videographer at The Echo and The Echoplex in Los Angeles and film many iconic musical groups under the umbrella of Live Nation. 

Clan of Xymox plays at The Echoplex on March 8th, four days before its closure. You can see the faithful ATEM control panel and video screens beside the band.
City Morgue had a very heavy show two days before The Echoplex shut down. I couldn't ask for a better last show to record. There was a massive amount of stage diving and dancing; more than any other show I've recorded in a while.

I filmed and recorded Clan of Xymox on March 8th, 2020 and City Morgue on March 10th, 2020 – days before COVID-19 stopped everything on March 12th, 2020. Each of the bands featured from these shows have been recorded, live streamed on at least eleven Samsung Smart TVs throughout the venue and the video recordings are saved on the video’s external hard drive at the Echoplex. 

I’m at least happy to witness two amazing and very different bands, one well-established goth rock/dark wave group and one powerful up-and-coming hip hop group, play at our venue on the last days before everything came to a halt. These last few days at the Echoplex sum up what I love about this venue – it offers an incredible and wide range of shows that come each week.

I sadly would have been the person live streaming and filming the Anti-Flag show at the Echoplex on Saturday, May 16th. Maybe one day it will happen.

Sister Nancy at The Echoplex
This is a picture of renowned Reggae singer Sister Nancy performing behind my massive multi-camera video displays using ATEM in 2019.
This is Jimmy of Jimmy Eat World at Emo Nite LA at the Echoplex in 2019.
Posted by Chris Girard in Documentary, Photo, Projects
MySpace Era: 2000s Selfies

MySpace Era: 2000s Selfies

 


 

Lots of Tattoos: The Present

Chris Girard - Spanish Citizenship I look like an artistic-leaning tattooed gay hipster now. This photo is a retouched selfie taken by me and done by Isaiah Garnica in the not-so-recent past of 2018. I was 35 years old. I was wearing a lace Gianni Versace shirt that I dyed black. It was turned into the identification photo for my Spanish citizenship.

I am presenting the pretentious selfie as a not-so-pretentious documentary of my past. These selfies began in the early 2000s on MakeOutClub. As a boy in his teens and very early 20s, I had a magical enigmatic presence on the camera that young people seem to carry and lose by their mid-20s.

 


 

2000-2003: The First Selfies

What makes a selfie a selfie is that it’s a photo taken of oneself for social media. Many photos of mine were taken on the bed of my San Francisco State dorm around the time when I first got my tripod in 2004 and then on my parents’ old air mattress that I slept on in my Dolores Street apartment in San Francisco. My presence on social media like MySpace made me feel like I had closer friends in New York City than in San Francisco. Before a selfie, this type of self-photography like that of Cindy Sherman had an artistic, poetic, and self-reflective purpose. They’re presented in my photo classes in the early 2000s. I owned a boxy Kodak digital camera (2001 to 2003), then a Canon Rebel Film Camera (2003-2007), then a Canon Rebel Digital Camera (2004 – 2010), then a Canon 7D Camera (2010-2017) and now a Canon 77D (2017 – Present). I developed a lot of 35mm black and white film of myself at the San Francisco State darkroom in my photo classes from Dale Kistemaker. Most of these early photos were seen on MakeOutClub (2000-2003), Friendster (2003-2004), MySpace (2004-2008), and then Facebook (2004 – 2011). I stopped using all social media after that.

 


 

Early Social Media

I was interviewed in early 2017 by Karen Lembke, someone who was an internet friend back in the day. She got me interested in thinking about early Social Media. It was about my experience using Makeoutclub. She showed me a screengrab from Page 6 of www.archive.org. She was trying to paint a picture of that early form of social media through people she used to talk to on the internet. Her broader scope was not to find me. But to find another guy she used to communicate with from MOC through me.

The text and picture boxes were the first of many social networking websites that I would become acquainted with on the internet. It was 2001. I was on Page 6 of the ‘boys’ section. It was a major social taboo to have your picture on such a website in high school in the early 2000s. This moment of submitting a webcam photo I had taken and had it displayed for all the internet to see completely changed my life and the years to come.

I discovered the power of having my profile on such a website. It was a relatively fast awareness. The attention I got made me very infamous in high school, and well-liked on the internet.

I wrote abstract poems and posted blurry images. It was enough to be attractive to people. Jeffree Star and I met on Melodramatic.com otherwise known as Melo in 2003. This is a photo of us at a former high school cheerleader roommate’s house on Melrose in Hollywood in 2004.

The focus on both fronts was a compelling enough reason to continue doing it. There was an eminence about it that I relished. I was still in high school and it was the first time I have ever felt like I was the center of attention. People would talk about me behind my back. Ex-friends would go out of their way to tell people that I was on an emo website. But go further to print and distribute it to others while commenting on my sexuality. It was not one or two people, it was a clique of 20 or 30 teenagers who told the entire school about my gay self and my gay profile!

I felt honored. For the first time, I was not overlooked. People wouldn’t ignore me at parties or think I was a bore whose foolish kindness was masked in social awkwardness. I wasn’t kind. I wanted to be the center of attention all the time. I did not want to be the quiet and moralizing bore who stops his teenage friends from having a fun time of throwing bleach onto strangers’ front lawns, as one of my ex-friends described his character named after me for his creative writing assignment.

I became popular in high school. I was invited to a lot of parties, made new friends, and watched pornography in a packed hummer limo with my new friends, and had the high school prom party at my parents’ house. I fell asleep on the floor while watching the music video to Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On. Everyone else was either asleep like me or skinny dipping in the hot tub outside. I actually went to another prom the very next day in the same black eyeliner, pomade in my bleached hair and purple tie with a girl I met on Makeoutclub.

 


 

Conclusion

The selfie represents and misrepresents me. I discovered what I perceived to be myself through the internet because of the selfie. I think it was a window of the way I was feeling at the moment that was reflected by other people. The photos have changed a countless number of times over the years. I felt like a contortionist and have always updated a picture of myself posted somewhere on a social networking website or a blog as the years continued. These pictures have constantly broadcasted my identity to show who or what I have become. Over the past ten years, my social networking and blog pictures have piled up into a myriad of sprawls, facial expressions, different hairstyles, and clothing to demonstrate the changes in my identity and these pictures tell that story.

 


 

Christop: The Book of Selfies

http://www.blurb.com/books/2244891

Check out Christop (Blurb, 2011) for all of my boyish pictures from ages 20 to 24.

Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects
How to Take a Surrealist Photo

How to Take a Surrealist Photo

Maybe the lens makes a better Photoshop. But every surrealist photo I have made is like writing a poem with a camera. These are those techniques. Each of the images will pop up in a new window.

I started taking unusual photos using a large boxy Kodak digital camera in 2001. I found ways to take cool photos that made lights move, blur, bend and contort. It was quite a learning experience. Almost 20 years later, my techniques have not changed much since then. So, what are these techniques?
 


 
<h2Chris Girard PhD’s Photo Surrealism 101

Low shutter speed

Low shutter speeds are probably my favorite effect. It works on speeds ranging from 1/40 of a second and slower. It’s like creating a movie on a static piece of film. You could either effect the photo with movement from the camera, or it could be a combination of movement from wind, electricity and water.
 


 

Blurriness

The more out of focus, the better. The way to get this effect is with an out-of-focus telephoto lens to create a super blurry effect. Shampoo from 2005 is a good example using an out-of-focus telephoto lens. It was minimal, with warm and simple white walls from an ugly tungsten light that frame the shampoo and bath products around it.
 


 

Shadows

Black space, which comes from under-exposure and shadows, create minimalism. It creates it in a photo composition by moving the eye towards the lightness surrounded by dark shapes. I found it works really well with scenes that have severe ranges of bright light and dark shadows.
 


 

Overlays

Blending layers makes the best surrealist photo without a camera. There is an option on Photoshop’s layers to create double and triple exposures. They show the lightest and darkest parts blending into the other lightest parts, to create a feel of a reflective and three dimensional glass.
 


 

Photo Crops

Writing can dissolve in the way a sign is cropped and creates a meta-narrative and sub-text within that larger sign.

 


 

Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects

VOTE4ART Winner: Hacking an App

Tectonic Trees was a winner of Artbox Projects’ VOTE4ART mobile app. Artbox Projects, a booth hosted by Art Spectrum and Red Dot Miami during Art Basel displayed Tectonic Trees twice an hour on their television screen. Art Basel is a massive event for artists that happens in Miami during the first week of December. And it holds many events like Art Spectrum and Red Dot that are spread out through Miami and Miami Beach. While I am very happy to have participated in this event and submit my artwork to the mobile app, watch out for Artbox Projects!

Artbox Projects accept thousands of artists’ submissions for their booth! And displays thousands of these artwork submissions on a single television screen. Hence, they made a LOT of money. Displaying artwork as a slideshow on one tv means that it takes about 30 minutes for the artwork to appear again.

Waiting!

Chris Girard, VOTE4ART winner, at Artbox Projects during Art Basel.

The above photo by Scott Redinger-Libolt / RedPhoto shows an artist who came all the way from Italy and I getting to know each other very well as we were both waiting on the couch for our artworks to appear. I thought maybe there was some type of random algorithm function but it seems to just be ordered by the last name of each of the artist, kind of… I was waiting for Girard to appear, but somehow the order of the artworks began with those with the last letter H. Her last name began with T, so she was done in 15 minutes.

The VOTE4ART App

The VOTE4ART app, which doesn’t exist now, was displayed at the very front of the Artbox Projects booth during the Art Spectrum and Red Dot event. The app offers a similar feature to the actual installation. It’s a slideshow of photos and users can vote for their favorites. So I downloaded the app and submitted my artwork. I was determined to make up the money I spent on submitting my application and the flight, and win.

Tectonic Trees won. How so? Well I hope that it’s because it’s a pretty killer photograph. But not really. I promoted VOTE4ART on my Twitter handle @Christop early and told my coworkers to download the app early. But I also hacked the app because nobody is going to continuously vote. The app was a pretty cool and simple idea, but you can make an unlimited amount of user accounts from fake email addresses. You get three votes once a day on each account. And people vote. The slideshow interface of the app works makes it very difficult to see everything. It takes a longer and longer time to go through everything as more and more people submit. I suggest that anyone else who wants to win $500 to do this early. That $500 I got went to recuperating that fraudulent art ‘experience’ of having this photograph displayed two times an hour from Artbox.Projects. Here is the winner announcement and the thousands of likes on VOTE4ART’s Facebook page.

Tectonic Trees can be purchased as a high resolution downloadable photo here.

Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects

Detournement of Stop Signs – Law Series

Law Series is a type of photographic detournement. It constitutes repurposed photographs of street signs that are either cropped from their original state or framed. The change in composition alters the rules and regulations to produce other rules and regulations.

Detournement, Laws of Movement & Expression

When I was 21 years old taking art photography classes, I was interested in exhibitionism and the performance that one acts when on camera. I looked at constructs of intimacy and the clashes that it creates. I believe regulation creates the boundaries of intimacy and a change in the rules changes how one behaves. In a way, isolation forms the placement of these regulatory mechanisms. Expression isolates or ‘interiorizes’ and even alienates from these mechanisms. Outdoor NO signs clearly show these mechanisms. I lived near hundreds of these signs growing up in Orange County, California.

Photo Detournement by Chris Girard

The four scenes in each of the photo collages evolve a story by a reader who searches for correlations and patterns in scattered and ephemeral environments. California housing associations estrange these landscapes and gated communities by heavily regulating them.

External Regulation & Internal Expression?

Laguna Niguel is an inland town that borders the beach town of Laguna Beach in Orange County. I noticed when visiting my parents how many NO signs there are. Niguel Summit, which is the housing association my parents lived in the 1990s and 2000s, offers at least one NO sign for every 15 feet.

I decided to photograph all of these NO signs within a one mile perimeter from my parents’ home. It’s funny and absurd in a way to have a No Parking sign followed by a No Trespassing sign followed by a No Parking sign. This is something you wouldn’t see in most other places. Other places where I subsequently lived, like San Francisco, London or Los Angeles, do not do this.

I believe this has to do with is Laguna Niguel being a collection of privately-owned housing associations rather than a town. This phenomenon of private housing associations seems to define upper middle class living at the cusp of the 20th and 21st Centuries. These McMansions that look alike are also located next to shopping centers with the same stores. I wanted to explore how identities form and become alienated in these regulated private communities. So I made a detournement.

Photo Detournement by Chris Girard

Glass, mirrors, fog, blur and shadows symbolize intimacy. These selfies are taken indoors and reflected on glass and mirrors taken on different beds.

Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects