Archive for the ‘still life’ category

Camapna – Chema Madoz

July 5, 2010

This image was taken by Spanish Artist, Chema Madoz, who is known for his black and white surrealist photos. I’ve chosen it because it’s representative of his work- simple objects used to make visual puns.

In this image, smooth riverstones in a small frame filled with sand, form a quintessential thought bubble – the joke seems to be that the stones exist in a ‘zen garden’, and zen of course, being about clearing your mind from thought. It’s subtle and in many ways secondary to the design, but it adds a layer of meaning to the frame.


Piss Christ – Andres Serrano

July 4, 2010

Andres Serrano’s controversial photograph depicts a crucifix submerged in urine has been the subject of much outrage from people who regard the work as blasphemous. It was subject to vandalism attempts when displayed at the NGV and archbishop George Pell even sought a supreme court injunction to prevent the work from being displayed in Victoria.

The image is not aesthetically challenging until the viewer becomes aware that the subject is immersed in urine- it’s very simple from a design perspective and the images impact is primarily due to its confrontational nature- I’ve included it here because I believe firmly in freedom of expression in art.

Calla Lilly, 1984 – Robert Mapplethorpe

May 28, 2010

As well as being notorious for his highly controversial nudes, Mapplethorpe was also renowned for his hauntingly beautiful still life shots of flowers. He generally shot orchids and calla lillies and generally in a 1:1 format.

The placement of the flowers was very deliberate and Mapplethorpe works with their lines and shadows to create images which are undeniably sensual- the stamen of the flower in many shots is exposed, proud and phallic, while in others, such as this photograph, the emphasis is on feminine curves.

I have experimented with flowers in my own folio & have tried to emulate pictures like this one- I specifically wanted to see if I could create an image with the same dramatic impact. I have concentrated on creating deep negative space and accentuating the textures and shape of the flower itself’

One aspect of still life photography that really appeals to me is the ability to really concentrate on a subject- it provides to opportunity to really manipulate what you are shooting in a way that is more difficult with other genres. It enables the photographer to devote their attention entirely to how they’d like to present the subject, how they’d like to use negative space, light and shadow.