This post is a follow-up to the last post on landscapes. Here, I highlight a few more photos available in our after-sale. Photos are grouped in themed pairs, and you’ll even notice that a couple of the artists are local to Philadelphia.
Jeannie Pearce works as a faculty member at The University of the Arts. The piece was taken using a spotting scope—a tool frequently used in the birding world. The heron stands in a way that suggests an awareness that the camera is within range, and the curvature of stance and display of his feathers aligns nicely with that of the lens. These features enliven the bird by highlighting both movement and purpose, as if stretching in preparation for an upcoming performance. The display turns the viewer into a participant on a birding venture, and the shot creates a well-developed character in the heron.
Pearce writes, “Birds have been omni present in myths, fairy tales and symbolism and are icons for present environmental concerns. For me, these portraits represent a dichotomy of emotions and observations: beautiful-ugly, attraction-repulsion, comfort-distress, sweet-nasty, friendly-hostile, and optimistic-pessimistic.”
Buddha’s Woods was taken by Catherine Jansen, another Philadelphia artist. Jansen describes her work, saying, “I have found that photographing and then merging images taken from several angles and perspectives gives a closer echo of the experience then a single recording of it.” The layering effect of the technique along with the non-traditional collection of animals creates a whimsical experience for the viewer. With the inclusion of the cheetah and the peacocks in the background, the doe at the center, like the heron above, is better characterized. With the other animals existing as background features, the doe becomes the protagonist. Its connection with the viewer assists in personifying it as a character.
In this pair, setting is the parallel. Richard Lobell’s Arab Children, Galil Israel focuses in on the face of a young boy with a vertical layer of Israeli homes in the background. Beyond them, the viewer is given a shadowy highlight of mountains in the distance, and four trees line the street on which the children are standing. Although the background plays a major role in adding substance to the photo, it is the expression of the boy that becomes the central focus. The checkered pattern on his sweater pulls him away from the grey shades that allow the road to blend with the unpaved ground directly behind him. His glance ignites questions within the mind of the viewer, causing one to wonder how his experience has cultivated his seemingly calm, yet curious disposition.
Israel by Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin’s photo is set against the backdrop of the same region. In 2001, she took photos while on a cultural exchange in Israel. The extravagance of the tree is highlighted in relation to the lack of emphasis on others in the background. Like the boy at the center of Lobell’s photo, the tree is better understood in a group setting. Much like the boy’s checkered sweater against the backdrop of blending greys, the tree contrasts the highlights of the grass beneath it.
I hope you all enjoy the holidays, whatever your landscape may be!
– Danielle Jordan
The Photo Review Intern, Fall 2014