Bob Poe is a photographer interested in the potential of the iPhone as an artistic medium. He has had a successful career in broadcast marketing and advertising, and is also known for his high-profile political involvement.
Poe spent over 20 years in the broadcast industry, developing pioneering media initiatives for a variety of clients. He was the Director of Broadcasting for the Orlando Magic, and cultivated a strong fan base for the team when it was founded in 1989. Most notably, he was General Manager of WMMO, a breakthrough radio station in Florida that provided quality, uninterrupted music programming for adult listeners. His efforts earned him the prestigious Radio Wayne Award for General Manager of the Year and earned WMMO the Radio Station of the Year award from Billboard.
Poe is also an active member of the Democratic Party and in 2000 was Chairman of the Democratic Party of Florida during the Bush v. Gore election controversy. During this time, he worked to address and settle the disputes that occurred throughout the legal debate. His involvement propelled him to the national spotlight, where he made several broadcast appearances, including “Good Morning America.”
Due to his background in creative fields and his drive to discover and imaginatively use innovative products, Poe began experimenting with iPhone photography. His spontaneous and thought-provoking photographs sparked interest from collectors, and in 2009 he leased gallery space at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica in order to professionally exhibit his work.
Bob Poe currently lives in Los Angeles and maintains a gallery in Santa Monica, California.
My work reflects a painterly vision of everyday subjects that exceed the original intention of the photograph. I currently employ the use of an iPhone camera, both for its accessibility and ease of use. What was initially viewed as a benign collection of subjects and locations has become an instrument that allows me to discover, and allows an audience to discover, the complexities that lie just beneath their surface.
The spontaneous nature of the iPhone lets me capture images that, when viewed at length, display curious juxtapositions, symbolism and humor. As each photograph unfolds, it offers viewers an opportunity to apply their own personal, artistic and philosophical interpretation. Unintentional visual distortions resulting from the iPhone’s inherent limitations provide a playful temperament to much of my work, and add ambiguity to otherwise straightforward images.
My subject matter includes anything that strikes me as unusual, quirky, or that can evoke multiple interpretations. The majority of my work is improvisational, as the iPhone allows me to take quick and impulsive photographs. The absence of a heavy camera and equipment is liberating, and permits me to capture a moment in its authentic form.
I work in large-scale reproductions of my photographs because I believe this format displays each piece’s subtleties, richness and depth. The canvas also provides a dramatic backdrop for an image that is usually viewed on a very small device.
My most recent work explores the role of discovery in the artistic process. Specifically, how the iPhone’s lack of shutter speed and aperture control - which frustrates many of its users - or an accidental finger over its lens, can create powerful and beautiful images.
Ultimately, my mission is to encourage my audience to pursue their own artistic endeavors, for pure enjoyment or for further discovery of the artist within themselves.