Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crazy Loco

So, is this art?

We went to the Bakehouse Art Complex a few weeks ago for their monthly open house.  For those who haven't been, this is truly a great place.  Housed in the former National Bread Company building, it provides affordable studio space to emerging and mid-career artist.  The exhibit in the Audrey Love Gallery was of works of professors at a local art college.  Among them was  Brian Nogues Reference Work 1.5, pictured.  It so astounded me, I had to photograph it.

Of the many works in the gallery, I liked some and didn't like others, but none provoked the level of discourse that Nogues' work did.  Jackie described it as "Crazy Loco."  The idea that someone would put an ordinary bubble level in a matte, frame it and call it "art" shocked my senses.  That he should demand $950 for it, well, I thought took some nerve.  Still, I snapped the photo and walked on.  [click below to read more]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Known-Unknown

Oftentimes you'll read on the web about the importance of lighting in photography.   Photography is essentially writing with light. The name, after all, means light (photo) writing (graph). While this is certainly true, in black & white photography especially it is often the shadows that will produce a really great image. While you can't diminish the importance of lighting in black & white photography, the shadows can be just as important. 

Shadows provide contrast, the lovely smoothness of the models' skin offset against the dark background immediately draws the eye and focuses attention to the intended subject.  But there is more.

Shadows also provide an air of mystery to the image.  What's behind the models off in the right-hand corner of the image?  We don't know.  In fact, we will never know what is back there and in this knowledge about lack of knowledge, the known-unknown, lies the appeal of this image.  Yes the models are beautiful but they would remain beautiful under glaring lights and in full color images.  By showing only portions of the models and obscuring the rest we intrigue the viewer and make for a more powerful image.