We pass by these things every day. They’re the backdrop to our lives — items so ubiquitous, they’re invisible. We see an unfurled garden hose blocking a street and we sidestep it, without thinking about or even seeing it really. In his latest book, Likes, Andy Spade turns this day-to-day background noise into wondrous works of art, with nothing more than an iPhone and the potent power of the crop.
Likes features a compilation of Spade’s Instagram photos, each marked by its number of likes. A basket on the floor gets 859 hearts; a single red Croc floating on water, 258. What’s delightful is the way Spade reframes the ordinary and commonplace. He refocuses our eye, transforming a humble garden hose into a museum-worthy squiggle — artist Damián Ortega’s loopy sculptures come to mind — while a pair of latex gloves abandoned in an old sink could double as a still from a Sixties French film. “As a photographer,” writes JP Williams in the afterword, “Andy Spade has accomplished what all artists desire: to make us see.”
Branding and advertising guru Spade, frequent flipper of scripts, flips the script once more with Likes. He’s given us a new (old) way to consume Instagram’s digital domain, as a beautifully bound, 422-page book.