Our days are composed of the same routine, and the days blend with each other into one single cohesive, mundane, and repetitive life. Sometimes, we feel as if we are at the epicenter of an unstoppable whirlwind of tedium. David Zaitz’ photographs show that magic can be found in the most common of places, and that an ordinary life can hide a few surprises under its sleeve. The intense glare of the morning sun is almost unbearable if you haven’t had your first cup of coffee, or a whole family can be torn to pieces simply by removing a sticker from a car. Zaitz finds that the small things make us laugh the hardest.
The irony and humor in his images remove any bitter taste and make them bearable to see: a delicate, old woman using a pen to highlight text on a computer, a family preparing for a once in a lifetime adventure only to find themselves in an empty sewer. Situations are taken to extremes to make us laugh, and while they are impossible, they make us take note of daily life’s disparities.
David Foster Wallace once said that irony is the death of culture, but for the photographer David Zaitz, irony is a subtle way of explaining the double standards that exist in our society. Laughter is therapeutic, and even more so if we laugh at the things that worry us the most or hang heavily on our shoulders. Having the capacity to laugh at our mistakes and follies is a good way to understand who we are and change for the better.
Irony, black humor, and sarcasm are the hidden gems in the repertoire of any witty person. They are elements that form part of our culture, and we will never get rid of them. We cannot be staid and uptight, and these photographs are the perfect example of this. Don’t take life too seriously; after all, everything is possible!
Visual metaphors become an extension of who we are: a society rife with contradictions, guided by norms that we don’t entirely follow. We live in a world where the pursuit of happiness is only through the material and peace can only be achieved through war. Foster Wallace may be right; irony is the death of culture, but maybe in the future it can bring it back to life.
Follow David Zaitz’s work here.
If you are a lover of dark humor and you chortle at the misery of others, then have a peek at these articles. After all, it doesn’t hurt to be the baddie once in a while:
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