Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wk 5: Artist Study // Guy Bourdin & David LaChapple

Focus: Color

Looking at these two artists I started to think about the possibilities of what kind of work I might be interested in the future, apart from just doing stuff for fun. Getting to their level of understanding how they use their equipment and execute their concepts would be a definite goal. Their theatrical style and colourful aesthetic is something I admire as well as  their sense of both danger and fun - although obviously David has more 'fun' so to speak. I would definitely be interested in attempting to create a series of portraits that are big, bright and slightly surreal.

Guy Bourdin
Protege of Man Ray, French photographer Bourdin began his journey learning photography while part of the French Air Force. He grew up distanced from his parents, in particular his Mother and went on to have complicated relationships with women, including a wife who committed suicide. He expressed these layered relationships and his psyche seems constantly in his work sometimes explicitly and other times subtlety over time, his models weren't aware of the part they were taking in representing his story on film. For example, he preferred working with red heads (his mother was a red head) and playing with Sadomasochism (although more common among the high class parisians - apparently) and almost treading into pornography, meanwhile the colours in his images are extreme making his images other worldly and something that would never be seen in real life. He was only ever interested in his work being in magazines, refusing for his work to be exhibited or published. He was more interested in the process rather than any kind of legacy.

Color: In this image the colors are slightly more muted and neutral than some of Bourdin's other work. The mirroring of the white/silver of the shoes and the telephone box helps to keep the focus on the shoes while making the rest of the content of the image more realistic and dark.

Color: Here Bourdin has clearing used contrasting colors Red and Green very effectively. The red/orange tones bring out the orange tones of the mans face.

David LaChapple
While Bourdin was only interested in Models who would politely do his bidding, pushing themselves to the limits and then would toss them aside when they became too well known - David LaChapple came from Andy Wahols school of celebrity and the idea of 'making people look good'. Getting his start out at Interview Magazine he photographed people of the moment and started to work both in fashion and advertising. He never intended to enter the fine art side of photography until it happened upon him. His elaborate sets and concepts are built by a large team of people (not dissimilar to theatre) and they work around the clock when it comes to a deadline to get it ready on time. While his images often look highly photoshopped he actually tries to do as little as possible making more work on a shoot day.

Color: LaChapple seems to make his image look like a candy store. The pink in this image is made more prominent by the blue accents and dark floor. He has also added colors that traditional 'don't go together' like red with pink.

Color: The black and white details of this image are offset by the skin tones and mini plant by the subjects right fingers and tiny gold elements.

Color: Red and Green. Blue and Orange. The primary colors in this image pop out like a comic book!
With only the legs and shoes poking out from under the hamburger it looks very inspired by Guy Bourdin. Yes?

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