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Visual mindscape of the Goose

Visual mindscape of the Goose
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/10/2019 6:07:31 AM IST

 Kevingutuo Yhome, who goes by the pseudonym “Goose Perspective” is a 23 year old self-taught freelance photographer and is one of the few best known photo manipulation artists in Nagaland who gives the art of photo manipulation a whole new meaning. His work echoes the art of photo surrealism, an intellectual and artistic movement that started in the early 1920s, heavily influenced by Salvador Dali. A lot of photographers use photo manipulation but only a few are able to achieve the kind of impact Dali had set in the art world because it not only requires skill, but it also calls for an active imagination. Kevin’s surreal photos are unlikely to be found in the real world, yet at the same our eyes are viewing remarkably realistic-looking photos that make a special mental impact.

His interest in photography started when he was quite young and it was only around the year 2014 when he began taking portraits of friends and family that he started taking photography seriously. People then noticed his work when he dove into cosplay photography which was a genre of interest for him as it was basically fantasy portraiture and being a portrait photographer himself, he found the transition natural. Kevin chose “Goose”, a childhood pet name from his father for his very brand and the reason he went by the name Goose Perspective was because he wanted to make himself some room for future in case he ever wanted to branch out into other fields related to photography and not limit himself to photography alone. He is glad he made this decision because today he takes photo retouching as well as photo manipulation commissions from all over India as well as abroad under this name and believes that the clients recognise and trust the brand rather than the person.

Kevin’s fairytale-like works feature objects, people and nature charmingly playing in an otherworldly place that is free from the notions of size ratios. When asked about what keeps him inspired and how he incorporates such ideas, he held that inspiration was the only thing an artist has in abundance. “It is everywhere. You never have to look far for it. You find it in a good book or a movie or even the simple act of sitting down to enjoy nature. I also found that looking at other peoples work increases your visual library and keeps me up to date with what is happening in my field”, he said.

The photographer’s surreal sensibilities are echoed throughout his portfolio and the final result of his work is an exploration of things that we overlook in our day to day. While talking about the post-processing of the photos, Kevin explained that it hugely depends on the genre of photography and their specific requirements. For a photo from fashion photography, it takes around 40 minutes of post-processing due to the high end retouching the photos require, and as for portrait photography it takes about 5-20 minutes of retouching. He spends roughly 5-7 minutes on retouching of photos that he uploads on social media platforms and other online publications. But when he is photo manipulating, it can take anywhere from four hours to a whole day.

His series of photo manipulation called “fear” projects his active imagination and has drawn people towards his body of work not only because it is delicate and ethereal, but also because it is relevant to a lot of people. Kevin chose this theme for a speed exercise to help improve the time of his workflow, the goal being that he needed to create a photomanipulation in less than 30 minutes. While talking about the inspiration of the themes, he said, “I have always had this weird fascination with exaggerating the size of animals to gigantic proportions. I think it had something to do with a very young me misinterpreting the dinosaurs from the first Jurassic Park movie as giant lizards even though I knew they were dinosaurs. I guess a child’s imagination is less restricted to logical reasoning”.

As we keep immersing deeper and deeper into Kevin’s works, we discover the key to deciphering his photos and that is, his mind. His fascination with subconscious continues to make him fly over irrational vistas, with elements that only make sense as a sum, in the mood and setting he assembles them. Photography to him is a very elegant art form and he believes that it can teach you a lot that could be applied in your daily life. “It has taught me a lot of useful skills such as discipline: to be a photographer I had to learn to discipline myself to be efficient with my time, to meet deadlines and to plan and direct complicated photoshoots. Another skill that photography has taught me over the years is the art of communication, a very important skill in photography not just while directing models but an indispensable skill set to have when interacting with clients pre and post shoot. Patience, humility, and how to maintain a presence of mind in a stressful and hectic situation, to stay calm and collected to ensure you accomplish your list of directives and goals for the day are also some of the indispensable lessons it has taught me”, Kevin shared.
The photographer feels blessed to have been born into an amazingly supportive family. His parents have always been supporting his works from day one and his siblings have added to this blessing, while helping him refine his style by constantly handing constructive criticisms and guiding him in defining his particular style. He personally thinks that in order for parents to encourage their children, who want to pursue art as a career, all we can do is our best and if we succeed, then the judgment they have will eventually shift to be supportive towards art-based careers because “seeing is believing”. While asking if he had any advises for young people who had just started out in this field, Kevin unlike many artists who love to stay planted in their high horses felt that he was not qualified to be giving out advices to anyone considering the fact that he was still learning to develop his own style. “If there’s something I wished people had told me when I started out it would have been: Don’t regard online tutorials as gospel and be careful about what advice you choose to incorporate in your work. The internet is saturated with people telling you how to make your art but a lot of them won’t work for you. Art is so personal and the advice people give online have been homogenised to cater to as many people as possible to the point that the nuance of the self is lost. If you really want to learn online, my best suggestion would be to sign up for master-classes from established photographers whose style you connect with”, Kevin said.
Besides photography Kevin used to do a lot of portrait sketching years ago and after a hiatus of four to five years, he has recently started sketching portraits again and to him, this has been a refreshing change of pace from the hectic schedule of photography. He has an ardent love for cosplay photography but he has been taking steps into the field of fashion photography with the release of his fashion centered photo project called “Second Wind”.
Kevin’s mindscape makes me wonder just how many of us are intoxicated with the staggering complexity of the creation around us. How many of us actually see each moment as a unique work of art, an expression of something infinite and wonderful at play? We as humans are so caught up moldering in traffic, navigating robotic voice-messaging systems, swept up in the maelstrom of activity, always striving to be ‘in the thick’ of things, yet only a few think about how profound things around us are – and how easy it is to take them for granted. We need to completely open to our environment while passive with our thoughts. Many artists in the creative realm do struggle for survival in a world increasingly defined by mundane possessions, status, social contacts, etc. But whether its photography or a simple painting alone that is done in Kevin’s kind of creative spirit, it enriches our appreciation of the subtle beauty we might otherwise pass by in our lives without noticing.
Society should support creativity and inspiration. But before that can happen, creativity needs to be recognised. If the society in general cannot discriminate between mediocrity and artistically significant works, artists will be creatively stifled and financially suffocated. A society may be technically advanced but it will lack soul if it is spiritually and creatively dead. There is some intangible quality which transcends our daily existence and expands our consciousness. Without that, we live in poverty, despite being surrounded by material possessions. 
One can check out more about Kevin’s ongoing projects and works @Gooseperspective_Official on Instagram or his Facebook page @Goose Perspective.
(Tsüngrochetla Walling)

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