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Work / Photography

Amy Lombard’s celebration of toenail art is wonderfully loud and garish

Amy Lombard’s latest series, Nails Pt.2 is the photographer’s second exploration into the work of nail art and the series is an homage to people who wear long acrylic sets on their toes – and the subsequent photographs taken to show off their toenails. Working with nail artist Sonya Meesh on the project, the images are a follow up to a series she created back in 2015.

The original series was created with Natalie Pavloski and depict boldly decorated nails clutching all manner of junk food. “I think it came at a pinnacle time when nail art had really become this mass market phenomenon, because of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest,” explains Amy. “I view the extremely long nails and long toenails as a similar genre. I was doing an endless search of long nails on Pinterest when I came across the long toenails. After some continued research I came onto this genre of amateur foot photography and it was just amazing.”

Inspired by this bizarre sub-genre of photography, Amy set out to create her ode to this art form. “When it came to aesthetics for the photographs, the look is very characteristic of all of my photographs with the heavy use of flash. The aesthetic of the nails varied greatly, and that was intentional,” says Amy. “We have the soft and subtle French manicure to something that feels more badass like the spiked nails against the blue carpet.”

Visually rich with lots of garish, clashing textures, the use of colour, jewellery and props were crucial to the series, with each image having its own narrative. “I narrowed it down to scenarios that I thought would convey the concept best and include that range of mundane to very stylised setups,” explains Amy. “It was really a group effort between Sonya, Amanda Lanzone (the foot model) and myself. Amanda is an illustrator, so not only was that helpful when shooting to have someone be very self-aware in a visual sense, but she was also instrumental when it came to the art direction and colour palettes.”

In the series there are multi-coloured furry nails, glittery rainbow ones and, our favourite, a fork-shaped nail picking up a large prawn. Fundamentally it is still an exploration of our culture’s obsession with nail art but Amy has pushed the idea a little further by celebrating the culture of photography that also surrounds it.

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2

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Amy Lombard: Nails Pt.2