Gray Malin, the fine art photographer whose work has been printed on everything from Orlebar Brown trunks to Sperry Top-Siders, is quite literally a master of escapes. Over the years, the Los Angeles-based shutterbug has become known for his bird’s-eye-view travel photos that stretch from the beaches of Greece to snowy peaks in Switzerland.
Further proof of this: Malin recently partnered with Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts to launch the “Follow Me” campaign, a video art installation that will play 24/7 in hotel lobbies worldwide. Encompassing Malin’s life’s work, the project pieces together dreamy stills alongside behind-the-scenes video footage from shoots in faraway destinations like Bhutan, Dubai and Croatia, to name a few.
But this global installation will only offer a glimpse into what really goes into the making of Malin’s playfully adventurous masterpieces. “There are things I’ll never be able to get across to everyone,” he says, “like when I almost fell off this little raft while launching beach balls or how an iceberg fell apart right in front of us.”
Malin will continue to add to the “Follow Me” collection as he accumulates more stamps on his passport, and there’s no doubt he’ll keep things fresh. “Every series starts with the same question: Is this something I would like to hang on my wall at home and look at everyday? I use this to navigate through the creative process, whether it’s umbrellas in Italy or sheep in Australia or llamas in Bolivia or beach balls in Antarctica,” he says. In other words, Malin’s overall goal is simple.
“My philosophy is to make every day a getaway,” he says. “It’s an endless escape when you look at an image.”