Back in the Day: Jerry Uelsmann

Chris Armstrong Posted By Chris Armstrong on Nov. 19, 2012 / Comments


Not that long ago, I was working at an ad agency and I found myself starting a lot of sentences with “Back in the day…”. It was a sign that I was getting older and a sign that names that were important to me in my education, meant absolutely nothing to kids who were born in the late 80’s or even early 90’s (I still struggle with the thought of someone being born in the 80’s or 90’s as being an adult).

One such “back in the day” moment was with me talking about Jerry Uelsmann and showing his work to some art directors. This was a photographer who I had no less worshiped in my school years and who epitomized everything that was "cool". His creativity and ability to manipulate images was unmatched and even more amazing, done completely devoid of any current digital manipulation techniques. Sure, much of what he did is far easier to achieve now, but the way he did it is what makes it so great. It’s kind of like a great song — it may be easy for people to replicate and play the same two or three chords, but coming up with IT is an entirely different thing.