Monday, November 28, 2016

Julia Hetta

Another photographer whose work I discovered via brief involvement with Art + Commerce is Julia Hetta. Working almost exclusively with natural light and long exposures, I find her work to be highly surreal; in some cases in the style of some Surrealist artists from the 1920s, namely Man Ray and Salvador Dali. Her use of rich, deep tones and occasionally eerie portraiture finds me intensely captivated.

My favorite of her photo sets was published in AnOther Magazine in September of 2015, entitled Cushion Volume Down Constrict. I find this set to be one of the most surreal, and almost haunting. 

Cushion Volume Down Constrict, September 2015

Cushion Volume Down Constrict, September 2015
The last two photographs scream Man Ray and Dali, respectively.

Between gorgeous compositions paired with such striking natural light, if ever I was to go down the path of fashion photography, Julia Hetta's work would top my list of inspirational sources.

Where No One Stands Alone, Another Man, Autumn/Winter 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

William Abranowicz & Henry Miller

At the beginning of October I was briefly involved with the artist agency Art + Commerce, which lead to the discovery of a few photographers whose work I've come to deeply admire. I had first been introduced to the agency as a fashion photography intern, doing aesthetic research for upcoming shoots. The agency represents some of the most prolific and renowned image makers of the age, and also holds licenses for the estates of artists who have passed on. Stephen Shore, Patrick Demarchelier, Craig McDean, and Steven Meisel are among the artists with whose work I was already familiar; William Abranowicz had been on my radar since my internship.

My attention was first caught by William Abranowicz's The Greek File as I was fresh from a trip to the mythic land myself, and easily captivated by anything Greece-related. Already galvanized by the work of Herbert List (see earlier posts), I was hit with another wave of inspiration upon seeing another monograph dedicated to the place that changed me, not only as a photographer but as a person.

The Greek File: Santorini, 1991
The Greek File: Santorini, 1998

Abranowicz captures the essence of Greece in much the same way that I attempted when I was there. It's so easy to be caught up by the the things you're supposed to see when visiting a new place, but he made an effort to see past the attractions to the stripped-down core of Greek culture. There are no cliched portraits of monuments.

The beginning of the monograph has a beautifully written introduction by Edmund Keeley, followed by an excerpt from The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller. So enchanted was I by Miller's words, that I found a copy of the book, and have been reading it slowly over the past few weeks. The way he describes his time in Greece, the interactions he had with people, the places he visited, especially the overwhelming sense of peace and calm he experienced upon visiting Epidaurus, has continually brought my own experiences flooding back each time I pick up the book. 

"At Epidaurus, in the stillness, in the great peace that came over me, I heard the heart of the world beat. I know what the cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world."