Toby Ziff's Images Apply 16th Century Principles to the Tube

By: Joey Haar - Sep 13, 2016
References: instagram & mashable
Toby Ziff's photography series of the London Underground, known locally as the Tube, self-consciously references the stylistic traits of Renaissance landscapes and portraiture. Though Renaissance painting's subjects tended to be either religious or sublime or both -- qualities that Ziff's subjects certainly don't possess by any traditional measure -- the artistic era had technical aspects that make it possible to imitate with any subject.

To be sure, Toby Ziff's photos contain some decidedly crass and silly images. These include two couples lewdly carousing, a youth vomiting between train cars, and a woman falling through the train doors. However, by sticking to the principles of Renaissance painting, Ziff manages to give his images a classical appearance.

The principles that Ziff adheres to include foreshortening and deep focus, chiaroscuro, and complex, multi-subject frames.