ARTS & CULTURE
05/12/2013 06:32 am ET

Peter Hoffman Photos Show What Happens When You Set An Oily Negative On Fire (PHOTOS)

Have you ever what would happen if you soaked a photograph in petrol and lit a match? Peter Hoffman, a Chicago based photographer, ends the mystery once and for all with his series "Fox River Derivatives." And we must say, though we do not recommend recreating the process at home, the results truly are striking.

peter hoffman

Hoffman's unorthodox photography technique stems not from pyromania but from a reaction to the 2010 BP oil spill. The natural catastrophe illuminated the relationship between water and oil, two materials at the forefront of Hoffman's practice.

In an email to the Huffington Post, Hoffman explained: "In some ways I see the images as a metaphor to what our use of non-renewables can do the landscape. In some images the river is clearly recognizable, but it's not the same as it was." The photographer selected Illinois' Fox River as a "symbolic starting point for a body of water that both maintains its natural beauty but is also compromised environmentally in certain sections."

For such a fiery process the resulting images are surprisingly soft, transforming the Illinois waterscape into a bubbling, psychedelic wonderland. Check them out and while you're at it peruse the equally experimental photography methods of Matthew Brandt.

Peter Hoffman

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