Kyle Bean Ratchets Up the Adrenaline for Kinfolk
Anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life. It’s an evolutionary imperative, honed over the course of the development of our species to act as a buffer between the world and us. It warns us when we’re entering into situations that may not end up being beneficial, reminding us that we’re mortal and have our limits. Often this warning is well received, tempering our decisions and helping us to make smarter ones. But as we’ve made our world safer, sometimes it springs up when it’s not so valuable and becomes a distraction. When Kyle Bean and his photographer friend Aaron Tilley were approached by Kinfolk magazine to create a series of images for a recent issue, they tapped directly into the heart of their own anxieties. Kinfolk offered them an overview of what they wanted for the ‘Adrenaline’ Issue, so Kyle and Aaron sent through an idea for a series that explored anxiety and anticipation. “They loved the idea and so we sent them some sketches,” says Kyle. “We were all getting really excited about the possibilities of what kind of setups we could make. We spoke a lot about how they would make you feel. That was the key to this project - it had to evoke a reaction from the viewer and that was most important for Kinfolk.”
As Kyle explains it, so much of what he creates is about arousing emotions, usually within the context of a story. But this time it was about pure emotion. Rather than worrying about building inside the narrow parameters of a story, they decided to create imagery that would speak directly to the viewers emotions even if it didn’t necessarily make sense. To do so, they used objects that we all come in contact with every day. “We knew how important it was to make the viewer feel on edge with these, and we soon realized that the best way to do that would be to use materials and objects that are very relatable and show it in a very naturalistic way,” explains Kyle. “Everyone can associate with the stress of seeing an egg falling, or ink about to tip onto a crisp white shirt… It was fun to setup these very normal everyday objects and make them appear to be doing things that are so agonizing to look at!” These familiar objects bring the images closer to our own experience, creating a broader appeal. Well, maybe ‘appeal’ isn’t the right word…
If you ask Kyle which image gives him the most anxiety, his answer is quick and easy: “The one with eggs falling,” he says. “I have a bit of a fear of falling anyway so this taps into that anxiety that I have!” The broad range of images is bound to tap into an anxiety that everyone has, whether or not it’s a rational one. Which one triggers you?