Industrial Photography

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Industrial Photography: Planes, Trains - and Self Driving Automobiles

Industrial art is usually understood to encompass diesel, steel, machinery, commercial aircraft, or shipping containers as subject matter. But photography is itself an industrial medium. Photography is both itself one of the great testaments to the growth of industry, as well as the technology which has allowed us to document the rise of modern industry and its consequences. From its beginnings in simple portraiture, however, photography has also been an elaborate art form, finding a home in many different genres, from avant-garde movements to photorealist art.

History of Industrial Art Photography

Out of the handicrafts and social education movements with which the industrial arts of the late 19th century art most associated, came distinct aesthetic trends associated with the history of photography. It was only in the early decades of the 20th century, with the increasing prevalence of documentary photography, that industrial art began to take on some of the contours more familiar to us today. Social activists and documentarians in Europe and elsewhere used cameras to record the working conditions and goings-on in factories, at the fishmongers, and on the picket lines. The urban industrial landscape became the site of investigation for documentary and artistic photography, and the subject matter of countless new art forms.

The horrors of mechanized warfare associated with the First World War, in particular, provoked expressionists like Georg Grosz and Max Beckmann to circumscribe the predicament of the human as they saw it. In their vivid paintings and in their printmaking, inspired by artists of the Northern Renaissance like Duerer and Gruenewald, they depicted the spectacular breakdown of the human machine - exposed by wartime medicine as just so many gears and levers, all susceptible, just like machines, of malfunction.

It was within the scope of this tradition that latter-day expressionists like Georg Baselitz have conceived their remarkable visual reflections on the human condition.

The Lumas Collection of Industrial Photo Art

Lumas is one of the world's most celebrated purveyors of limited-edition and collectible fine art photography and high-end art prints. All photographs and prints in our portfolios undergo a custom photo development method, combining traditional techniques with cutting-edge enhancements.

The element of abstraction introduced with aerial views of parked planes, or diesel-powered ships removed from the ocean, shares much in common with abstract art. Like industrial art, abstract art focuses in on reality at its most formal, drawing attention to the hidden structures and dispositions of perceived reality. For these reasons, the industrial shares a great deal with the search for pattern and form in the non-objective world of abstract photography.

Our portfolio of industrial art features stunning photographs of modern equipment, from shipping containers to commercial airplanes, from safety equipment to towering buildings. The industrial photographer Jose Manuel Ballester profiles some of the most intricate and fascinating products of the industrialized world, in photographic artworks well-featured in large formats. Industrial design can be used to set a variety of home decor accents, from stylish and inscrutable contemporary art themes, to geometric or rustic decor concepts. Black and white industrial photo art is perfectly suited to a living or dining room, where the restrained effects of monochrome meet the detailed patterns or simple forms of automobiles, pylons, and other industrial subject matter.