- Why did you enroll in this course? I want to challenge my conceptual abilities as an artist through my photography.
- Who are the photographers that you are most interested in right now? Sally Mann, Niki Boon, Imogen Cunningham, and Steve McCurry.
Artwork that I like…
Candy Chang is one of my favorite artists that I am looking at right now. Her artwork is a combination of graphic design, painting, and simple media such as spray paint and chalk. Everything she does also invites some sort of public participation. This mural, The Atlas of Tomorrow, is visually appealing to me. It was created with over 200,000 dots that were finger painted by the artist and the Philadelphia community. I like the building size, black and white image. There are a lot of details to engage with such has half a lion’s head, and half a bunch of other images. I see a drill, a gear, a leg coming out of the gear, people, what looks like a bridge, and a clock attached to the drill’s bit. On the bottom, is a working spinner that viewers are invited to spin. Whatever the spinner lands on, they can then go and read the corresponding philosophical reflection found along the width of the piece. It is on my to do list to visit this artwork in person and give the spinner a go around!
In preparation for my Identity project, it was through a google search for something pertaining to identity, family, teenagers, and photography, that I discovered Niki Boon’s work. Very similar to Sally Mann’s approach to documenting the lives of her children as they grew up in rural Virginia, Boon’s photographs are recording the lives of her children growing up off the grid, in rural New Zealand. I think I am drawn photographs of children growing up playing outside, and getting dirty, because that is how I grew up. Not quite as rural and naked as Mann’s and Boon’s children, but outside, one with nature, all day getting dirty, none-the-less. The authenticity and emotive lighting of Boon’s deep, rich, and often moody, black and white images of her children being children, I find both emotionally and aesthetically pleasing.
“I believe my children are right where they belong: covered in mud, running and living within nature. They belong here, wild and free, earth-connected in a way where the landscape begins and their little souls end.” – Niki Boon
I discovered Steve McCurry, the photographer behind the well-known image of the 1985 National Geographic cover, of the girl in Pakistan with the piercing green eyes, through my personal connection to a quote of his that I came across on the internet. “I think life is too short not to be doing something which you really believe in.” This is something that can often take a long time; perhaps half of a person’s life, to realize! McCurry’s sense of composition is so carefully thought out, and his work is very colorful. I see a wonderful use of color theory in all of his work, such as using simultaneous contrast, or a monochromatic color scheme. It is McCurry’s use of color theory, lighting, and composition that has me interested in his work with my personal work currently being focused on building my painting and photography skills.