This Artist's Photos Of Himself Falling Off Things Are Utterly Compelling

Kerry SkarbakkaSkarbakka in action.

Photo: Kerry Skarbakka

Ad agencies are always on the lookout for new photographers and artists whose work they can borrow, steal or hire.They should check out Kerry Skarbakka, whose photo series “The Struggle To Right Oneself” is one of the most simple, original and yet bizarre ideas we’ve ever seen: He throws himself off a cliff or a ledge (or slips in a shower or trips on the stairs) and catches the scary mid-air moment that results.

Skarbakka has been taking the pictures since 2001. Following the Sept. 11 attacks and the (unrelated) death of his mother, he became increasingly interested in capturing what it meant to live in an unstable, uncertain world where nothing can be relied upon and humans must struggle for stability.

Because he’s a photographer, he’s reduced this concept to a literal matter of physics.

The answer, for some of the more dangerous ones, is ropes and rigging.

If Skarbakka uses a rope, he tries to hide it with the camera angle.

Otherwise, the rope is Photoshopped out after the shoot.

Skarbakka has been injured by his work.

He broke a rib once. But he says he suffered more when he took up cage-fighting to get back in shape — at 38.

Sometimes the cops come by, he says, if he's trespassing.

In galleries, the photos are displayed at almost life size, on 60 x 72 inch sheets.

Skarbakka is now 42, and he lives in Prescott, Ariz., and works as a professor in the Digital Media and Photographic Studies department at Prescott College.

This is what Skarbakka actually looks like.

Here's some more awesome commercial photography ...

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