Compositional Rigor

The most important aspect of his stylistic language, Chris Rayn’s rigorous focus on the visual compositional structure of his works harkens back to the creation process in traditional painting and his own upbringing in this field. Transcending the sole focus on motive in contemporary photography, it allows his works to take effect on their own terms and not just through context. Humans breaking the great patterns established by nature as well as modern civilization and technology, emphasizing the significance of the human element in his works.

Flat Style

Following the stylistic tradition of the classic visual arts rather than photography, in most of his works Chris Rayn uses deep to unlimited depth of field. Integrating the background instead of blurring it and exploring its relationship with the foreground is a vital part of his compositions. Where desired, a sense of visual depth is created by geometric techniques used in paintings since the discovery of perspective, such as overlapping, stacking, framing and size differences. In more abstract works, he overcomes perspective altogether by changing the relationship of fore- and background, lifting real world limitations of size and placement as a stylistic means for emphasis or contrast.

Together with his application of strong contrasts and colors, the “flat” and “crisp” look of his works serves Rayn’s goal to achieve a painting-like quality with his works, transcending the photographic stylistic definition.

Upside Down

In his surreal projects, Rayn is literally turning the world upside down to highlight the subjectiveness of all perception. Focusing on the naturally occuring projections in our world in these works – shadows and reflections – and creating a projection of a projection through the camera, the flipped composition turns these shadows and reflections into the primary subject motive, drawing attention to the role of photography as a manipulative mirror of reality, and the fallability of our very own eyes in interpreting seemingly objective phenomena.