Meet Dominick Reed. Or, rather, meet Mr Flibble, the somewhat sinister and seriously deranged alter-ego of a likeable and enthusiastic photographer who became an internet phenomenon.
Every day for two years, Dominick spent up to five hours creating a series of wacky images of himself, as Mr Flibble, in hundreds of different guises.
He posted his bizarre self-portraits – 730 of them – on image-hosting website Flickr and quickly built a worldwide following – recording more than a million views of Flibble photos.
That exposure paid off with a successful campaign on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter last November. In just one month, Dominick raised the £10,000 he needed to publish the illustrated story of Mr Flibble.
It is that book which brings him to York this week. On Wednesday, September 18, Dominick will be talking about the techniques he used to create the alternate world of Mr Flibble.
“I bought my first digital camera in 2004 – and became really interested in the technical side of photography, but I also wanted to take pictures that stood out, instead of photographing the normal things like flowers and landscapes,” he said.
“So I began experimenting. I always wanted to make people laugh and I took pictures, for example, of myself trapped inside a washing machine. Others were more macabre – there was even one with my head cut off and stuck in a fridge.
“Photography is my passion. It really helps to create different worlds and tell more fantastic stories. Most of my stuff would probably be better characterised as digital art rather than pure photography.”
Dominick, 40, a software designer, describes himself as a “Photoshop addict with a penchant for dark, surreal and quirky images”.
After posting his images from Mr Flibble’s grotesque and fantastical funny world, he was inundated with questions from site visitors asking to know more about his photo manipulation secrets.
It is those secrets that Dominick will be revealing in his talk this week. He may even explain why his Mr Flibble book is entitled I Drink Lead Paint.
The lecture is Cambridge-based Dominick’s only appearance in the north of England. Organised by York Photographic Society, the talk is open to non-members (tickets: £4).
- Dominick Reed: I Drink Lead Paint is at The Poppleton Centre on Wednesday, September 18 at 7.30pm. More information here
- For more about the book go to Dominick’s website or his Facebook page
- Allan Harris of York Photographic Society is chair of judges for our photo competition. More details here