Category: art

photography by Sallie Harrison

art, blogging January 13, 2020

Sallie Harrison, LA based UI designer and photographer, infects her work with a tonal simplicity that is characteristically LA. If you’ve ever been to LA, it’s got almost none of the beauty any magazine cover would allude to. However, what it lacks in beauty, the city makes up for in a unique and again, characteristic, charm. I think of all the American cities, none is more self-aware than the great and sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, California and i’ve found the photography of Sallie Harrison to capture the exact representation of a city that LA needs.

Pastel colors, sharp and angular lines, and the overall feeling of sunshine act as an accent and compliment to the plain asphalt and broken pieces of concrete you can find in LA. It’s a beautiful blend of surrealism and realism that really does well to create a beautiful representation of the cheap architecture of the city. Harrison’s color pallet alludes to the open desert while also acknowledging how man-made each of these structures are. This, to me, is the overwhelming satisfaction that comes with these photos of Los Angeles. That, while it is subjectless, there is a message and a worldview that speaks through each photo.

Geometric LA

visit Sallie Harrison’s portfolio

photography by John R. Pepper

art, blogging November 25, 2019

John R. Pepper is an Italian photographer renowned for his black and white street work and most recently a collection of isolating desert photos he calls Inhabited Deserts.

John grew up as a photographer, having his first photo published at only 15 and studying under the wings of Ugo Mulas. His early sense of direction gave him the opportunity to craft his own unique style and philosophy for photography. In an interview with Monovisions, Pepper described his process before taking a photo. Briefly speaking; there is none. To Pepper, being a photographer is an open-minded pursuit that discourages planning. He says it is akin to falling in love and to fall in love is to have an open mind about things. His photographs as a street photographer benefit from the process.

As a street photographer, Pepper catches these intimate moments in moving time. Often the subject will linger in the background seeming to be stuck amidst a scene. It’s almost as if each subject of each photograph seems preoccupied. This is especially the case in photos where the subject acknowledges the camera where then they seem to be either caught off guard or momentarily framing themselves.

However, it’s his photos of deserts that really got my attention. The styling is the same as his street photography being composed of either noisy foregrounds or absolutely clear lines of contrast. What I find is that despite the collection’s title, Inhabited Deserts, there is a very authentic and palpable human loneliness to them. I don’t mean to say that the photos make me feel lonely, quite the opposite. Inhabited Deserts feels familiar and, as I said, human.

Sans Papier
Inhabited Deserts

visit John R. Pepper’s website

photography by Massimo Vitali

art, blogging November 6, 2019

Pieter Bruegel is to painting what Massimo Vitali is to photography. Through his photographs Massimo presents a harmony between humans and whatever environment they inhabit. And like Bruegel, the moments Massimo captures invite the audience to speculate the relationship between humans and environment. Massimo does this by utilizing traditional geographical landscape photos and adding to it flocks of people. While prominent features like beachside cliffs and lavish landscapes dominate each photo, it is the spattering of people who provide the contrast and commentary. People, who fill the negative space, provide each photo with a visual metaphor and encourage the audience to muse as to why these two subjects seem to cooperate so cohesively.

MadiMa Ragnodoro

Massimo Vitali’s personal blog

the painting of Pieter Bruegel

art, blogging October 26, 2019

i won’t even pretend that i have anything new to say about Pieter Bruegel. here’s a quick Wikipedia rundown for those who haven’t yet run into the works of Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel. for starters, he is the father of the Netherlandish Renaissance. like most painters he wasn’t recognized as ‘a great’ while he was alive. his son, who recreated several of his paintings, carried the style and composition of his paintings for another few years until it gained recognition and influenced the likes of Peter Paul Rubens.

so there’s a brief history.

my favorite paintings by Bruegel are unsurprisingly the ones he is best known for. what made Bruegel different from artists at the time was his interpretation of layers. in nearly every painting you’ll find a bird flying in negative space above the cluttered chaotic center. the bird is meant to provide an outward commentary. the bird represents you, the person viewing the painting or viewing what the painting depicts. it’s magnificent, honestly. artists like Warhol talk about how art is less what is painted and more a conversation between the artist and the audience. we can’t know but i assume Bruegel believed the same about art. in every one of his paintings he opens a commentary between himself and the audience.

the painting i featured in this post is titled Hunters in the Snow. i won’t say anything about it because my interpretation is my own. but i deeply encourage you to reflect on this painting and find your own meaning.

leave a comment and let me know what you see.

collective works of Pieter Bruegel

photography by Franco Fontana

art, blogging October 9, 2019

here are some of my favorite photos from Italian photographer, Franco Fontana:

franco fontana turns landscape shots into something that feels more like a matte painting with vibrant oily pastels and he does this by utilizing what he calls the concept of line. basically he has posited that the relationship of geometry and color is the basis for good color photography. moreover vibrant color and strict geometrical shapes brings out the best in natural rules for beauty. like an extreme taken extremely. the colors in his photos are what you would assume are the most basic form of each color. a yellow is at it’s most yellow and it should be accompanied by it’s complimentary blue.

i like this, i especially appreciate the concept of aggressive adherence to the rules of geometry and color. in my own photo i wanted to bring out the earthiness of certain yellows and blues while also maintaining their complementary nature. a little brown in the yellow adds to a little white in the blue. the green in my photo serves as a less harsh line between them softening the line of the horizon.

i decided to call my photo pomeriggio sulle colline which means ‘afternoon on the hills’.

more works by Franco Fontana

photography by Michiko Chiyoda

art, blogging October 9, 2019

Michiko Chiyoda is a force that i look to as a near perfect example of the honesty needed for pure expressionism. her most recent collection “Starting a New Journey” captures the process of grief and the introspection that comes with the loss of a loved one. Chiyoda shared the story that brought about this collection and i really encourage you to read it and see the rest by clicking the date at the top of this post.

i haven’t experienced the death of a loved one and i really don’t look forward to opportunity to do so. but this photo says it all and it does so silently. what i appreciate most is the offset angle in the photograph. most seascape shots tend to carry a feeling of ‘ there’s something in the distance’ or something to look forward to but that’s not what’s being communicated here. it’s difficult to explain through a photo the feeling waves can bring. they’re powerful, dangerous, and unwelcoming. i’ve tried many times to create through my own photography the feeling of confusion and alienation i feel when i look at this photo. i can’t speak for Chiyoda or anyone else but i feel this photo carries with it the distinct feeling of not knowing what is going to happen next. which makes it all the more powerful. in contrast to the infinite horizon this gives you no opportunity to look for what’s next. you’re in it. whether you’re swimming or drowning, it is happening. and i can’t think of a more appropriate way to convey the tumultuous feelings that come with the loss of a loved one.

“i have been asking myself whether feelings toward someone who has passed away is our own internal conflict and if mourning means to keep going forward with that conflict.” Michiko Chiyoda

see more by Michiko Chiyoda here