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Banksy of Ballard? Seattle photographer reinvents local landmarks

A Seattle photographer is gaining a following on social media by showing off the city with a unique perspective.

A Seattle photographer is doing something a little different with his art, and it's starting to get a lot of attention on social media.

Rudy Willingham is showing some Seattle landmarks in a whole new light by taking paper cutouts and holding them up around the city. The photos create a unique perspective of the landmarks and ordinary objects we pass by every day.

Willingham stopped by Take 5 on Tuesday to talk about his project.

Q: Tell us about your project.

A: I take paper cut-outs, then hold them up in front of stuff around Seattle to create fun photo collages.

For example, I held a green light beam in front of the Space Needle to make it look like a UFO was abducting Jeff Bezos. Then I post them on Instagram and boom. I’m on live tv! I’m famous! My mom is so proud.

Q: What was your inspiration?

A: I’ve always had an interest in collage art, combining two different things to make something new. I pitched a similar idea to a client at the ad agency I work at, but they went with a different direction. So I decided to do it myself!

Q: Who are some of the people you look up to in your field and why?

A: It’s not really my field, but I love street artists like Banksy who incorporate their surroundings into their art.

They put a clever twist on stuff you see every day, and it makes you look at the world differently. I’m not a talented enough designer to do street art, so I stick with the paper cut-outs instead!

Q: Would you consider what you're doing to be innovative?

A: People are inventing robots and rocket ships that go to Mars, so I wouldn’t really consider this innovative. But I hope it’s creative and fun! Maybe it’ll distract people from the impending robot apocalypse.

Q: How can people help your cause?

A: I need a manicure now that I’m a hand model. So, if anyone has any gift cards that would be cool. Also follow me on Instagram!

And send me some free Taco Time! I’m hungry.

Q: Where is the best place to go for inspiration around here?

A: It’s kind of embarrassing, but I get most of my inspiration from the internet. There are so many people making incredible things in the world.

I do feel lucky to be in such a photogenic city though. You can go to UW and feel like Harry Potter. You can go to Snoqualmie and feel like you’re in Game of Thrones. Or you can sit in traffic and feel like you’re in a really boring movie like The Shape of Water. The possibilities are endless!