“At the heart of all great art is an essential melancholy.” – Federico García Lorca
Josephine Cardin – Bailaora
“I have been asked many times what it is that “look for” when I look through my lens. I do not look for something, rather I look at something, someone, some place or event, and attempt to capture the essence, the emotion and the soul of the subject, whether a person or a building.
There is so much beauty in our everyday and by ‘beauty’ I do not speak of conventional beauty, but actually, harmony, truthfulness, and that which is telling. The beauty most of us miss because we are looking down, too busy, or simply too clouded in our minds by preconceptions to see the inspiration and real beauty of our everyday world.”
In her personal beautiful project of children’s still life portraits called ‘Marine Life‘, Dutch photographer Shemara has caught a whole array of their honest expressions, pose and gestures leaving no question what they think about the sea creatures. As she has mentioned on her site “You cannot force them and you have to catch the moment that they give you”. The series was created in 2014 when her son was 5 years old and all the children are his friends at the same age. Shemara explained that she had let them to choose on their own what to hold in their hands and then photographed them with their choice.
Mario Arroyave‘s series ‘Timeline‘ – a vision of alternative reality through visual repetition of water sports as a metaphor for time and space.
Inspired by the photographic motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge’s, Arroyave also captured images at controlled intervals of time. However, whilst Muybridge intention was to create the illusion of movement by reproducing them one after the other, Arroyave synthesizes them in a fixed space within a static image.
Mario Arroyave – Timeline
While shooting a television commercial in an aquatic complex, he noticed the water’s visually rich texture. “The effect of this over the skin of the players was so majestic that I decided to continue photographing water sports. Because there’s a lot of movement, the players are the focus of the game. Even taking a picture every 10 seconds, what you see in each image is completely different.”
Using Photoshop after capturing a significant amount of images, he starts to incorporate from 20 to 400 of them to achieve the final image; a procedure that usually takes him from 15 days to 3 months.
The photographs were inspired by the words of the pioneering Italian actress Eleonora Duse – “away from the stage I do not exist”.
What is it about these words that made such an impression to the Norwegian photographer? “I could see everything right away, a story of an actress who started to disappear when no one was looking. Even though the quote is almost a century old, it’s so current. Sadly, I think many people can relate to that in our time.”
Eleonora worked at the international theater stage alongside Sara Bernhardt in the early 20th century but in contrast to Bernhardt’s outgoing personality, Duse was introverted and private, rarely giving interviews.
Aaron Ansarov’s colouful and vibrant series ‘Portuguese Man of War‘ is his tribute to these delicate, fascinating, complex and quite dangerous marine creatures. His kaleidoscopic images inspire the imagination seeing different interpretations like aliens, demons, angels…
Aaron Ansarov -Portuguese Man of War
Due to its outward appearance Portuguese Man of War would likely be mistaken for a jellyfish but it’s not. Actually it’s not even an “it,” but a “they”. Unlike jellyfish it is not a single multicellular organism, but a colonial one made up of specialized individual animals of the same species working together. The most interesting fact is that its venomous tentacles can deliver a painful sting, which can be fatal.
“How can something responsible for thousands of stings around the world each year be so beautiful? It is not my place to save these creatures, but I feel I am doing them a great service by giving them a beautiful voice and legacy that will last.”
Take a close-up look at Aaron Ansarov’s ‘Portuguese Man of War’ in this short video created by National Geographic.