Artist Adam Kennedy uses photographs to create maps of a ‘visceral, imaginary world’.
Some people collect PEZ dispensers, others play tennis, Adam Kennedy’s hobby is taking pictures of flaky, rusting fire hydrants and transforming them into celestial bodies, forming a collection of photographs he calls Planet Universe.
Kennedy began taking pictures of round top fire hydrants on his walks to class at San Francisco State. He would then manipulate the images in Photoshop to turn the rust into oceans and create a planet from his imagination. It was nothing more than a hobby until he posted an image on reddit this past February, and it became the top headline of the day garnering over 50,000 likes and 1.5 million views. Kennedy has now become more focused on the project, starting an Indiegogo page to fund prints of his work and a 2014 calendar with the eventual goal of compiling a book of his ‘terraforming art’. With funding, Kennedy says:
I will be able to continue to share my message that art is transformation: it is the process of turning something mundane into something beautiful and captivating.
Part of Kennedy’s motivation and interest in creating these fire hydrant planets, was the fact that it was less he who was creating the models, and more our planet Earth – with its weather patterns of wind and rain eroding the metallic layers on the hydrants - revealing the planetary forms to him. Think Michelangelo seeing an angel in the marble, and carving til he set it free. Kennedy writes:
The most intriguing aspect of this hobby of mine is how the features of the “planets” form: the decay and the rust are a product of the natural conditions of Earth — just as the features and geography of our home planet are guided by the natural conditions of the solar system. Perhaps more exciting is the notion that there may be planets out there in the universe that look almost identical to the ones I’ve rendered.
Check out a glimpse of Planet Universe below: