Art&Culture
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AS ABOVE, SO BELOW

Tony Maher’s photo series Mermaids dunks its viewer underwater, forcing them to see things in a different light.

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AS ABOVE, SO BELOW

A mermaid might not be the first thing you’d liken to a swimming labrador. Barrelling into the blue after a tennis ball, splashing about with gleeful flailing limbs, you could say a labrador has about as much grace as a mermaid has legs. However, somehow the two black labs captured by photographer Tony Maher in his Mermaids series project a sense of mystery, wonder, even dread. The kind of mystery that seduced sailors and caused them to dive into the ocean in the pursuit of a beautiful maiden, only to be swallowed up by the waves.

This is especially heightened in Maher’s work thanks to the vantage point of most of the photographs. He’s taken them from the bottom of a swimming pool, looking up at the distorted world beyond the surface of the water, forcing the viewer to work harder to make out shapes, figures, or establish a connection. Maher suggests that the photographs in this series “float in a sort of limbo between real and unreal,”—not unlike the way a mermaid straddles the line between human and mythical creature.


tonymaher.net
You can see the complete Mermaids series here.

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Art&Culture
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