Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer & Emmy Award winning graphic designer based in Los Angeles. He has applied his unique visual style across a variety of mediums, from print and multimedia to TV, music videos and film. Despite his varied interests, photography has always been a part of Clay’s life. Recently he has experienced a new-found interest with the medium and is now passionately focused on pursuing photography as fine art, free from clients and limitless in creative possibilities. Clay is self-taught and strives to create images that can stand the test of time. He is also an avid self-publisher with over ten titles to his name. His artwork has been published and exhibited internationally, most notably with Esquire Russia, Pink Art Fair Seoul, Wired Italia, Ballarat Foto Biennale, Lishui China Photo Festival, The Annenberg Space for Photography and the Smithsonian’s National Atomic Testing Museum.
I was raised during the height of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war loomed between two superpowers. The dramatized depictions in TV and film of such an apocalyptic demise both intrigued and scared me as a child, yet the actual historical record of the atomic age was full of antiquated, black and white images that seemed dated and a world away. This series re-contextualizes a legacy of atomic bomb tests in order to keep the ongoing nuclear threat fresh and omnipresent. It also speaks to the current state of the world, a voyeuristic, tourist filled culture where catastrophe is viewed as entertainment by increasingly desensitized masses. The iconic mushroom cloud, a loaded symbol burned into our collective subconscious, represents a triumph of science, apocalyptic destruction and even national pride but in this case can also serve as metaphor for larger societal issues such as global warming, nuclear power, industrialization and pollution. Issues that seemingly breed an adopted apathy, where individuals can do little but stand by and watch.