28 October 2010

Research Project: Vee Speers


Vee Speers lives and works in Paris, ... Vee Speers was born in Australia and studied at Queensland College of Art. Her work has been widely exhibited and has been seen in publications including The Sunday Times, ... and Black and White Magazine. ... Vee Speers's The Birthday Party, is a collection of portraits of children inspired by her daughter's birthday party. Having observed children playing at being adults, Speers imagined what characters they would create if they pushed their role-playing to imaginative extremes. In these photographs she has stripped away the idealistic stereotypes of childhood, capturing them happy to experiment with imperfection and embrace the grotesque.
(Edited extract from: Artist's website)

Bordello: the art of seduction

"Speers, an Australian fine-art photographer who has lived near the infamous Rue St. Denis red-light district in Paris for 14 years, has created edgy photos that play with seduction, sensuality and femininity."

The Birthday Party

"Imagine you are 8 or 9 or 10 years old. You are invited to a birthday party, a costume party, and encouraged to dress up as a creature of your own wild imagination. How would you imagine your alter ego at age 10?  Some of the innocent ones dress as princesses, dancers, spacemen, or angels — sublime and stunning. Some boys choose the macho images of soldiers or gladiators. Other young party-goers seem more in touch with their dark sides, ..."


"Immortal, plays to ... age-old sensibilities and timeless longings while riffing on the very contemporary convergence of similar ideas, ideals, and forms that have invaded our consciousness in our media-driven, technology-rich consumer cultures.  At once alluring and disquieting, these portraits of naked beautiful youths are set against backdrops of Eden-like natural beauty, or scenes of post-apocalyptic destruction. These Immortals are real people, young and beautiful, but they seem isolated, exposed and vulnerable, trapped, distant, on guard, defiant, all alone in a strange land, and confronted by echoes of subliminal fears and insecurities."

Vee Speers wide variety of work demonstrate many different issues using many different techniques and styles.  I really enjoy looking at how her technique and style have developed and grown over these projects.  Each series delves into a unique and interesting topic and I really like and enjoy Speers' work.

In terms of body image, all three of Speer's projects reflect this issue, but Speers' Immortals probably best represent what I am hoping to achieve.  The idea that it is a fantasy, this perfection we are all striving for, is really important within this issue.  Also, her use of younger subjects is interesting too, as, being a young person, I find this relevant to the topic of Body Image...

27 October 2010

Research Project: Raphael Mazzucco


Raphael Mazzucco is one of the world's most influential and talented fashion photographers; ... Raphael continues to define the look of popular culture, ... A native of Vancouver, Canada, Raphael has recently brought his considerable talent to bear in creating a new collection of images (as seen in his groundbreaking anthology - "Raphael Mazzucco Collected Art") that merge his love of the photograph with the sensuality of painting. American Photo has hailed him as "one of the top 50 photographers in the world to watch."

Raphael Mazzucco's work is very traditional but still modern in his techniques and concepts.  His work is very beautiful and alluring and I can see why he has been named one of the top 50 photographers in the world.  His work is simplistic and really interesting and inspiring to look at.

In terms of Body Image, Mazzucco does conform to stereotypes surrounding male and female beauty.  Although most of his images are of females, when Mazzucco does photograph males, he makes them appear rugged, dirty and gritty, like a man is supposedly meant to look like.  Meanwhile, on the other hand, he makes his female subject appear to be flawless, smooth and almost angelic.  These two differences can be seen throughout majority of his work, especially in his celebrity portraits (seen above and below).

All info and images from Artist's website

26 October 2010

Research Project: David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle, recipient of the 1997 International Center of Photography's Infinity Award and the 1996 VH1 Fashion Award for Photographer of the Year, creates images that are cultural cues as well as advertising campaigns...  Born in North Carolina, LaChapelle studied at the Art Student's League and School of Visual Arts. He began his photography career by creating fine art images for Interview Magazine and has evolved his photography into an idiosyncratic and highly personal combination of reportage and surrealism.  In 1997, LaChapelle released LaChapelle Land, a coffee table volume of his images published by Callaway Editions/Simon & Shuster. It is further evidence of a photography style that can be compared to no one. He continues to push his colors to new extremes while reinventing the vivid palette that is uniquely his. Lachapelle is one of photography's brightest stars, bringing high intensity, larger than life images to the pages of magazines worldwide.

David LaChapelle's work is very outgoing, unique and different.  He uses a lot of concept when constructing his images plus also a great amount of colour and 'over-the-top-ness'.  His work doesn't really hold any major documentary meaning within society but yet it is celebrated worldwide, proving that his often racy portraits must be doing something right...

In relation to "Body Image", LaChapelle anyways uses thin, popular and, how society might describe as, 'beautiful' models as his subjects, only using larger and different body shapes in lesser roles, such as the thinner model demonstrating a type of dominance over the other models (example below).  He also uses a lot of photo editing, as seen in the images of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.  Their flawless skin, their big bright eyes, everything looks over the top and 'plastic', like real life Barbies.  Although to some it looks fake, others see it as how the celebrity really is.  They see perfection and try to strive for it themselves, sometimes reaching dangerous levels...

All images from Artist's website

25 October 2010

Research Project: Digitally Altered Perfection

There has always been issues within society surrounding body image of both men and women.  However, more recently, the issue of body image has been reignited with the development of digital technologies such as Adobe Photoshop and other digital altering programs.  Now, thanks to the development of these programs, it is possible to digitally alter oneself to appear 'perfect'.

For my major project, I will explore and document this contemporary and controversial issue.

Currently, I am not 100% set on how I will present my images or how I they will be made, but now, that I have set my issue, I will be able to think further about this...

For my project, we have to look at to three artists in reference to our project.  For my project, I will be looking at:

David LaChapelle

Raphael Mazzucco
(from artist's website: http://www.miconworldwide.com/)

Vee Speers

Some interesting websites I found while researching for my project:

Some relevant reading...