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Getty Images Explores Paradoxical Desires and Contradictory Tastes in New Exhibition

Getty Images, 7 months, 1 week ago

Creative in Focus exhibition examines the modern world’s desire for everything

Getty Images Explores Paradoxical Desires and Contradictory Tastes in New Exhibition

Getty Images Gallery’s latest exhibition, Creative in Focus, explores the Jekyll and Hyde nature of modern tastes and behaviour; erratic, rebellious and driven by advancements, but also seeking peace, social good and a divine sense of living. What was once a world seeking authenticity, has now become one craving visuals that go beyond the norm, expanding the way we interpret the world. This thought-provoking exhibition from Getty Images highlights these contradictions with a series of over 70 original and challenging images.

[Main image: Ballyscalon, Getty Images]


The last 10 years have been dominated by a particular visual representation of ‘authenticity’- the trend for realistic lifestyle and its most recent manifestation in ‘smartphone realism;’ however there is an increasing appetite for something in addition - the aspirational, the surreal and the imaginative.


The Getty Images Creative Research team continues to monitor these cultural shifts, indicated by the way people are searching and exploring images online.  Getty Images is seeing the desire for escapism, perfectionism and glamour trending in search and download activity. In the past year alone, there has been a 248 per cent increase in searches for ‘surreal landscape’ and a 360 per cent increase image searches for ‘virtual reality.’

[Thinkstock Images, Getty Images] 

The exhibition highlights these often contrasting trends; the Messthetics trend is a rebellion against the order of everyday life, whilst Silence vs. Noise focuses on making space for consumers to breathe among the clutter of modern living. Getty Images has seen a 2,000 per cent increase in searches for simplicity, but at the same time witnessed a 1,500 per cent rise in searches for the visceral and gritty, demonstrating consumer trends at entirely opposite ends of the spectrum.  


Andrew Saunders, Senior Vice President, Creative Content at Getty Images, says: “This year our visual trend predictions focus on the contrasts faced by the modern consumer; the yearning for extremes, a desire to be on the outside of the mainstream, but also seeking community and engagement for wider social good. The exhibition highlights the exciting and original ways our photographers have tackled the visualisation of these trends.”


The Creative in Focus exhibition takes place from 24 February -26 March 2016 at the Getty Images Gallery. To view a selection of the imagery that will be on display, click here.

Category: Museums and galleries , Sports and leisure

Genre: Documentary , Photography , Storytelling