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The Return of Bent Objects

Remember Bent Objects? Their creator Terry Border shares some images from his new book with OWNI, as well as his thoughts on the phenomenal success of his creations.

by Terry Border On December 2, 2011

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Remember Terry Border of Bent Objects fame? He’s back with a new series of every day objects made extraordinary with the addition of a little wire, and a lot of imagination. Having started as a few images on a small blog, Bent Objects has become an international phenomenon, featuring on TV shows, newspapers, blogs and major international news sites around the world. Here Terry shares with OWNI the story of Bent Objects, and his thoughts on its continued success.

I started the blog in 2006, which was still the heyday of blogs, when people were still excited about publishing more than 140 characters. I thought I would post some wire objects and make some coffee money. At the time I was a baker. I had been in commercial photography, but had quit that a few years earlier because of my dislike of the whole process.

One day I was walking through the park and a giant hand came down from the clouds and pointed its index finger at me. I pulled the finger towards myself until a deep, angry sound rumbled through the atmosphere. That was quite an interesting day, but had nothing to do with the idea of Bent Objects. Basically, wire is very cheap, and ordinary objects are very cheap. Combining those two things together in a way that amuses me is fun and isn’t stressful like some other creative endeavors which cost lots of money for materials.

My creative process is as follows:

(a) Look at an object.

(b) What does the object remind me of? What kind of character does it have?

(c) Add a bit of wire to bring it to life.

(d) Photograph it in a way that communicates my idea to the viewer.

I’m not always trying to be funny. That isn’t the case at all. Because of the size of my materials and what they are, the end products are always seen in a humorous way, and there seems to be no way to get around that. Also, I’m not a serious person at all, and that shows in my work even if I’m not trying to “be funny”. It’s probably all for the best, because the humor, whether I’m striving for it to exist or not, has led people to share my work, and I’m not going to tell people how they should interpret it.

It’s how I’ve always seen most objects, food and non-food. It’s just since I’ve been working on Bent Objects that I’ve been able to show others how I think about things. It’s probably very strange, but I’m very thankful that I’ve found others who enjoy these thoughts.

To a certain extent, it has validated my sometimes strange tendencies. Before, aspects of my personality were seen as off-center and not serious enough. But (and this is a very sad thing I think) when you can make money with whatever different outlook you have, you are then seen as “eccentric” and “brilliant” instead of an outsider. You are validated because you have made money from your thoughts.

The new book is similar to my first, but more focused. It’s about love, and relationships. It was much more difficult due it being more focused. I didn’t write the text on the opposite pages, but my publisher thought they helped explain some things a bit more. If it were totally up to me I would keep people guessing more!

I live in the state of Indiana with my wife and daughter, and two cats. I like to watch competitive cooking shows, visiting art museums and getting checks in the mail.

I can say with confidence that without the Internet, my work would never have happened. It’s true that my photographs went viral through people sharing on blogs and emails, and just as important was the fact that the feedback from commenters and friends on the Internet helped me on the path of forming Bent Objects in the first place. My hometown of Indianapolis has only recently started to discover my work. Most of my blog’s visitors were always from London, New York, and places far and wide around the globe.

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All images © Terry Border. Bent Object of My Affection is published by Running Press.

View more Bent Objects on Owni.eu.

View more In Pictures on Owni.eu

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