Friday, December 3, 2010

Visura Magazine

Stephen Crowley – Voices of Afganistan

There is something dark and scary about Stephen’s images. I am fascinated with the styling of these images. They look as if they were taken in the early 1900’s but they were not. They have a harsh vignette, which I find increases the effectiveness of the images. A portrait in a way, a portrait of a normal human being trying to survive in harsh conditions in a harsh land.

I am drawn to the black and white images. The eyes more than anything stand out to me and for portraits rightfully so. This work inspires me in more own, making me more aware of what makes a good image. The small elements and the large, such as style and type of film and equipment. This all reflects in one’s photo. I just find these images compelling and hope that in the future what ever work I produce has these attributes and quality about them.

Fifty Crows

Ed Kashi

I really enjoy Ed Kashi’s triptych of the old man jumping into the ocean. I find myself enjoying black and white imagery more and more. I think it is because we all see in color, or at least most of us do, and I at least find it very interesting seeing things in grey scale. I like his militia triptych also. Over all I how he can make connections between multiple photos and have them flow. They are read easily and I would like to experiment with triptychs more.

Blue Earth Alliance

Paul Corbit Brown

I came across this photographer looking on the Blue Earth Alliance website and was very interested in his landscape images. Specifically the images that showed the damage and land change of coal mining. It really shows how powerful we are as a species and the destruction of our natural environment.

I also noticed that each image has its own color tone. It really compliments the variety of landscapes and different mined areas there are that he has documented. I think I like these images because architecture photography and these images are, in a way, the architecture of the our planet.

Viva La Revolucion Exhibit

This was by far my favorite place to visit. I have always been a fan of Sheppard’s works and Banksy. I have always enjoyed the grungy graffiti urban look. I also did a presentation of their work in another class so it gave me a great opportunity to explore their work in detail and understand the function behind their art. Sheppard has become an icon among popular art within urban society and is best known for his “Andre Has A Posse”, “Obey”, and graphic stencil Barrack Obama artworks. The Banksy part of the Museum was on a strict no photography rule, his work is highly valuable and the works on display were on loan so they did not want to risk of replication.
I really enjoyed his large portrait work on Keith Haring who was another influential graphic artist who did most his work in urban areas such as subways. Also the other portrait next to it was of Jean-Michel Basquiat who was an extremely influential African American artist who studied under Andy Warhol. Both of these artists died at a young age and influenced Sheppard himself too. Jean-Michel had also dated Madonna for a shot time in his rise in popularity.
Sheppard’s work is stunning and creative. Stencil art, with paper collage elements capturing influential figures in society, mainly to the suburban type family really spoke to the people. It addressed, hope, poverty, and it made the people feel like they had a voice to speak up about issues.

Art of Photography

To me, the most powerful images are the portraits. They have a gritty raw emotional feeling to them. I would like to know what most of these people are thinking in the moment the photo was taken. They seem to be in a stylized, awkward mood. The “Girl with White Collar at Table” seems so depressed and the elements within the photo support this. It is very dark; she sits at a dark wooden table, in a black dress, hands on the table in an uneasy fashion, hair messy, and very pale-white skin. Depressing yet interesting.
I noticed that there are almost no portraits where the subject is smiling. Maybe a smile is overrated. I think these images are more effective for they show us what we look like in the non-ideal picture state. One portrait is of a woman with her eyes closed with the sun in her eyes. Another, of a little boy with red paint all over his face and body looking at the camera as if he had just been caught “red handed” by his parents. It is humorous but has this tone of seriousness because you don’t know if he is trouble or just having fun.
All the images featured have this unique unnatural imagery we are not use to seeing and I find that very enjoyable and interesting to observe.

MOPA Imagine Being Here Now Lucy Lippard, Critic, Activist, and Author.

I attended the MOPA event about Lucy Lippard in Balboa Park. It was about an hour-long presentation where she presented some of her life’s work within her local culture where she lived. She strongly promotes community interaction and activism. She writes a local small newspaper about events within the community. She is obsessed with preserving the ancient history of the area, ruins, special lands, etc. She showed some amazing images of abandoned buildings and thoroughly talked about Photographic education.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t really connect to most of her presentation. Most of it didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t reference her jokes and most the talk about the Society for Photographic Education West.
The most humorous part of the presentation was when her laptop wouldn’t change pictures. She furiously tapped the computer keys forcing it to jump forward multiple pictures. The computer would slowly react. After about a ten-minute delay she said she was only pressing the button one time, I clearly heard her press it many, many times and thought it to be pretty funny.
I wish I could say that I came out of that presentation with something to say but I really can’t. I thought it to be a very engaging and professional talk about her local work and bookwork and nothing much more.

Mitch Dobrowner: The Ordover Gallery

Something about Mitch Dobrowner’s black and white photographs caught my attention. The high contrast between the clouds of the storms themselves and the black sky make them extremely powerful images. To see natures natural power caught in a still image can make it seem even more menacing. The unique formations and manipulation of the clouds themselves make for a sculpture like display. I could only imagine witnessing these natural occurrences. I believe that these images would not have the same impact and drama within them if they were not black and white. I believe it’s the absence of color that makes our eye wonder throughout the gradients of grey in these images. Forcing us to examine every inch of the photo.
My favorite photo would have to be the Road. A bolt of lightning was caught striking through a cloud, the lightning bolt piercing the cloud below it to reach the ground. This series made me think of the movie Twister and how crazy storm chasers have to really be. But this series of images makes me have respect for the people who put their lives on the line to capture a force of nature in such a beautiful way.
The image Mothership is another amazing photograph; I have to compare it to another movie called Independence Day. It reminded me of when the alien ships were coming to earth flying through the clouds. I really enjoyed these images.

Final Video Documentary Project