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Brian Merriam | Soho House

April 7, 2016

Los Angeles, CA

The Tappan artist on the Iceland trip that inspired his Soho House West Hollywood exhibition. 


This month, Tappan — the LA-based collective of emerging visual artists — is bringing Brooklyn photographer Brian Merriam’s Awash series to the walls of Soho House West Hollywood. We had a chance to chat with Merriam before tonight’s opening reception and heard more about his travels through Iceland.

“This one was taken at Skógafoss, on the Skógá River in the southern part of the country. There’s so much sunlight and so many waterfalls in Iceland — I’ve never seen so many rainbows anywhere else. Skógafoss is located on the ring road, so it’s one of the more famous waterfalls in the country, but I tried to avoid the conventional way of photographing it and give it my own take.”


“This is a river off the country’s main ring road. The ocean is on one side and mountains and glaciers on the other, which makes for a beautiful trip. And any time you turn off of the ring road, you start going up in elevation and immediately into snow. We did that a handful of times throughout the trip just to break up the scenery.”

“This was taken right after we left Akureyri, which is the second-biggest town in Iceland, and yet still only has about 18,000 people. We decided to leave the ring road and take another route that bisects the island through the center in the hope of stopping for gas in a town we saw on the map. This was taken when it started snowing, just as we were coming over the top of the hill and saw what made up the ‘town’. There was practically nothing there, just three huts near a hot spring. We somehow happened upon a woman who helped us call in a rescue vehicle with a full tank of gas for us — no extra charge. That would only ever happen in Iceland.”


“All of my photos are shot on expired slide film. My roommate had a giant bag of expired slide film in the freezer that he wasn’t using at the time, so I stocked up and it became a recurring tool. Now I actively seek out the medium. This photo here was a fun one because my friend who I was traveling with made a photography book where the cover was a photo of me taking this photo. It’s called The Young Earth by Jordan Sullivan."

As told by Soho House