Hollywood glamour Slowly removing the masks Revealing the truth
Matthew Rolston(1955 -) The American photographer was ‘discovered’ by Andy Warhol, who commissioned portraits for proto-celebrity magazine, Interview, soon followed by assignments for Rolling Stone, from founding editor Jann Wenner, and from Vanity Fair magazine, under editors Tina Brown and later, Graydon Carter.
This sparked an extraordinary career, with photographs published in Interview, Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and over 100 covers of Rolling Stone. Rolston’s images are notable for their glamorous lighting and detail-rich sets.
Rolston’s work has helped define the contemporary aesthetics of American portrait photography. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide and are in the permanent collections of LACMA and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. as well as many others.
Welcome followers and visitors to another update in A Beginner’s Guide to Photography. Today I will be discussing some more ideas with regard to experimenting further with photograms as well as continuing discussing more ideas related to one of my personal favourite artists – Paul Klee.
In past articles I have often stated, especially for a beginner, it is good to look at ones own photographs as well as those of other photographers and artists; by doing so, one is able to learn to understand better what photography is all about.
Here I have taken the photogram and reconstructed elements onto the surface and then rephotographed the image and then experimented further with them in an editing suite.
Paul Klee has had a significant influence on my developing art practice. His ideas subconsciously influence other areas of my own practice including working with the process of creating photograms.
Created in Klee’s early Bauhaus years, this piece shows a scene of ambiguous signs and symbols over a background of modulated purples and oranges.
The various strips of colour hint at a horizon, their horizontal emphasis counteracted only by the boldly painted arrow, which abruptly suggests something as ordinary as a road sign.
Like the many gradations of colour, the arrow generates movement, compelling the viewer’s eye to the centre of the picture.
The influence on Klee of Cubist still lives art by such as those of Picasso and Braque, is clearly apparent: Klee suggests a motif painted from nature while also cancelling it, as though to remind us that this is no window but a kind of abstract sign system.
Whilst Klee was at the Bauhaus, he explored distinctive ways of image–making, including transfer drawings. This work was created by tracing the lines of a pencil drawing through a black-inked surface onto another clean sheet of paper.
The clean sheet received the outline of the drawing in black as well as additional smudges of excess pigment, to which Klee then directly added motifs in watercolour and ink.
It is the the arching and angled arrows, before which whimsical figures appear to dance, indicate motion and spatial depth that I find extremely interesting.
The reference to music, a mainstay in Klee’s life and in his Bauhaus activities, is accentuated by his use of the word “scherzo,” referring to a vigorous and playful composition, in the work’s title.
I like this idea of introducing letters and words into a composition. This is something that one might like to experiment with within ones own photography. There is so much to be learned from ‘playing’ with such ideas.
This is something that I have experimented with in my own photographs and photograms. I continue to develop such ideas with regard to symbolism and pictorial narrative. The following images are the results of my own past endeavours.
I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along.
Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and creating photograms; the same applies to considering your own photos, other photographers’ work as well as applying different artist’s ideas too.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!
Remember there are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it.
Your photographs are your world.
You can do what you like.
Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take or consider how to look at or stage a photograph.
Don’t worry about what you might think is right or wrong in talking about or taking photographs.
Make mistakes. Laugh. Have fun. Just enjoy the process.
Thank you for your visit.
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