Photographer Lori Pond was, as she explained to Create, first compelled to incorporate Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch’s work into her own after she visited the Prado in Madrid, where his masterpiece triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, is displayed.
The painting seems to read as a straightforward creation-to temptation-to-damnation narrative of the (biblical) world, but its second two panels pack in a grandiose, overcrowded array of images of tiny people (and oversized ears… and anally hollowed creatures… and so many berries) that’ve left scholars speculating on whether its Christian moralistic meaning is, in fact, so easy to pinpoint, or if there’s something else to be found in its ordered chaos. After an emotional reaction to the painting and its mythologized mysteriousness, Pond decided to create a series of photos based on Bosch’s work — isolating details from Earthly Delights, as well as The Temptation of St. Anthony, and The Last Judgment.
The photos themselves look like they could be more minimalistic paintings by Bosch, but the arrangements you see were mostly achieved in-camera. Pond used materials gathered from swap meets, and enlisted the help of a motley team made up of a taxidermist, a prosthetics designer, her friends, and their closets.
That’s not to say she didn’t also use Photoshop and other software — as she told Create — “to color correct, crop, organize [her] bodies of work, make detailed selections [and] apply masks.” Even this process bore a level of authenticity, though — the craquelure you see in some of the images in her series, titled Bosch Redux, comes from a high-resolution photo of The Garden of Earthly Delights.