Conceptual Photographer Sam Cannon — “Your Eye Must See”

New York based photographer and director Sam Cannon is part of a new generation of conceptual artists that feed from modern visual culture and use its tools as a medium. In a contemporary digital era that has proven to fancy short attention spans and extremely capacious images, the artist aims to mesmerize the viewer. “I want them to stop scrolling through their feed and sit with the image.”

Most of Cannon’s conceptual photography work is based on the ideas of time and observation; in her looped videos and animated GIFs she immerses us in a timeless, never-ending dimension. Cannon produces multimedia pieces, cinemagraphs, digitally manipulated photos combining different themes and fields. Her work contemplates a wide range of topics, including femininity, mass media, anxiety struggles, social issues… all mixed into an infinite loop of grotesque shapes.

Sam Cannon animated gif
Sam Cannon Conceptual Photographer
Sam Cannon Conceptual Photographer
Eyes Sam Cannon Animated Gif Conceptual

Cannon uses the tools of our present time to bring us into this timeless, reflexive scenario. A kaleidoscope of hands and legs, eye-shaped breasts and eye-filled faces, spider-like creatures and anthropomorphic aliens. These surreal, a bit dark environment smoothly flows into Cannon’s personal and commercial works. No matter what the subjects is, whether it is a bottle of mineral water, a chic dress or a fashion show shot – there is always a pinch of something hypnotic on the image.

French master photographer Henry Cartier-Bresson and his Decisive Moment principle is one of Cannon’s major source of inspiration. “Photography is not like painting,” Cartier-Bresson said in an interview for the Washington Post in 1957. “There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative…”

Sam Cannon Conceptual Photographer
Sam Cannon Rose Animated Gif

—Words by Liza Gasyuk. Visit Sam Cannon’s portfolio site to see more of her work and also at

More Conceptual Photography:

STORM, a conceptual editorial by Puck Verheul
The Surreal World of Greek artist Kostis Fokas