Artist Spotlight

Molly Wilson

Photo courtesy of Sami Ross (Karl Hailperin)

If you have been paying any attention to your surroundings these past two weeks, you have most likely seen sophomore Kaitlyn Herzog, of Glencoe, Ill., wandering around the campus with balloons.
“I’m in a big balloon phase … hot air balloons, helium balloons. I love them all,” she said.
But Herzog is not just carrying them around for jollies – she is working on her latest photography project. Using a Holga camera – a plastic camera Herzog describes as “dreamlike” – she photographs students with various amalgams of balloons in different locations, which so far include an orchard and a Laundromat.
“I love taking people out of their element!” exclaimed Herzog, who is a self professed “photo ninja,” constantly sneaking up on friends, family and complete strangers to get her shot.
It is no wonder Herzog became fascinated with art – it has been in her family for three generations. Both of her great-grandfathers worked in lithographs and created structural drawings for the city of Chicago, her grandmothers painted and worked with textiles, and her mother gave Herzog her first 35-mm camera just before Herzog began high school.
Herzog cites her inspirations as coming from a variety of sources, including vintage magazines of the 1950s and 1960s – “Black and white is … all right … but I love the supersaturated colors of the ’60s!” – and the renowned portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh.
In 2009, Herzog won a contest sponsored by Nikon in Photographer’s Forum magazine, and her picture was published in the subsequent – and, for that matter, hefty and impressive-looking – book “The Best of College Photography 2009.”
In the future, Herzog hopes to go into fashion photography, and she would love to work with the clothing lines Anthropologie or Free People. She admitted that there is a strong possibility she checks the Free People blog every day. Whatever her internet habits may be, we are sure to see a lot more from Herzog in the upcoming years, so keep an eye out for upcoming Mudd Gallery shows, and watch for the balloons.

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