Jason Madara Grabs the Future for ABC Carpet & Home
Photography is a dance between light and the tangible world. We cannot touch light, but it changes and shapes what we see and how we interact with our world. Photographers balance light and objects to create an impression of a moment that becomes a permanent record. Jason Madara has been manipulating the confluence of light and spaces for ABC Carpet & Home for years now, introducing season after season of rug collections, but he and the retailer decided to go in a different direction this season. After Jason took a walk through of the new Santiago Calatrava space in downtown New York City around the same time that Creative Director Angela Gruszka did the same, they were inspired by the play of light in the space to apply that in the next campaign. They found that Calatrava also designed the Milwaukee Art Museum that was happy to play host for the photographer and ABC’s rugs.
Once they made their way to Wisconsin and stepped into the museum, Jason knew that by using this space the difference from previous campaigns was going to be stark. Where their earlier work had been about creating and applying a feeling inside an existing space, Jason was going to interact with Calatrava’s work and let the light play the way it was designed to. “We really used a lot of what the environment gave us,” Jason explains. “I’m collaborating with the space as opposed to creating my own mood. I’m having a dialogue with the environment.”
Jason’s art is to manipulate how light hits a space and document it, which isn’t so different from what Calatrava does and inspired this entire direction. “If you don’t let the light in that’s there, you’re not doing the structure justice,” says Jason. “This is what the architect wants you to see, he wants you to see how the light falls on the structure. And that’s what it was to me and I was really trying to pay tribute to that as well as making the carpet look good.” By working with what the space has to offer, the rugs end up looking even better, and feel within the context of a space that is beautiful while feeling a little bit alien, a little bit ripped from the future, a little bit different from expectations. “I went in there expecting to do something that I’m used to doing and it turned out very different," Jason says. "Which I’m happy about, I love the way it turned out.”