When Batman week was conceived there was one artist who we have worked with on several occasions before that we knew we just had to feature and the photographer in question is Chase Woods @_visions_of_grey_ who brings his distinctive black and white art direction to the table in an incredible shoot that we’re really excited to share.
It’s Batman week! Let me tell you guys how excited I was when Exclu asked me to provide content for this week… that is until I realized the magnitude of having to do a feature on such a monumental character. He’s such a popular, multi-faceted, debated, and scrutinized character that it’s daunting to decide on what aspect of the Batman world to focus my little 500 word article on and still be original.
Stumped, I instead tried to concentrate what made me fall in love with the Caped Crusader’s story: the villains. Originality vs Fanboy… Fanboy always wins out in the end. It can easily be said that Batman has some of the most diverse and interesting set of villains; psychopaths, strategic masterminds, trained assassins, failed protégés, full fledge monsters, the list goes on and on.
Batman’s uniquely strict code of morals, and dynamic coexistence with these antiheroes has always been a choice discussion amongst not only my friends and I, but also amongst the comic book community. Who came first Batman or his villains? Is Batman a product of villainy, or are the Gotham City criminals a product of the Batman? Of course, I think it’s a bit of both. Batman was shaped by violence, from the violence of his parent’s brutally unnecessary deaths which set everything into motion, to violence of the super villains that constantly push him to greater heights as a hero forcing him to evolve into the dark knight he is today.
But, the same can be said of his villains, it can easily be said that villains exist because of Batman, that in some way his presence as a vigilante has caused an escalation in criminal activity, or has broken the psyche of these madmen pushing them into the greater acts of horror… And perhaps the Batman is the effect of escalation himself, Gotham had finally rotted away and fallen far enough into decay that it had finally awoken its own cure. Either way, the villains, from the big baddies that have evolved from Batman villains to simply DC villains that transcend story arc, to the little obscure one-shot villains of the past; all have played an integral role in the creation and evolution of the Knight we all know and love.
I have picked a few of my personal favorites, I hope my black & white style captures and articulates their nature. Spotlighting them in this shoot I titled “To whom we owe greatness”.
Yet another incredible shoot from the talent that is Chase Woods proving time and time again why he is one of the best photographers in the community with his unmistakable black and white compositions that just ooze character and atmosphere. Be sure to check more of Chase’s work in Exclu Issue 2 and on his Instagram page @_visions_of_grey_.