Credentials are essentially meaningless when it comes to art. The best art education in the world can teach technique and theory, but cannot give one something to say, cannot teach vision or point of view. It’s the inner spark and willingness to expose and risk oneself that makes an artist great. Consider Jean Michel Basquiat, the great contemporary artist whose work has influenced so many current artists. A high-school dropout from a poor family who began his career spray-painting buildings and selling t-shirts and postcards, yet a few years ago one of his works sold for $15 million. He had something to say and it didn’t matter that he didn’t have credentials. In Second Life, almost none of us have credentials. We will be judged not on who we say we are, but what we do and the work we produce. That’s tremendously liberating – and gives everyone who sees themselves as an artist the chance to be one. Whether they succeed or not depends on whether they have something to say and whether they have the courage to risk themselves to express that vision.
Lanay has something to say and effectively expresses her vision. I don’t need to know her credentials or even her last name to know that this photo has a point of view. She took a shot of a sculpture at Rebeca Bashly’s Arctica Dreams show and added her own point of view. The contrast of fire and ice is fundamental and eternal and bringing that element into the photo adds a new tension that was not there.
Here she looks at the contrast between light and shadow and again creates this strong dichotomy that shows the world through her point of view. Her KoinUp gallery is rich with fabulous landscapes that make magnificent use of light. There is so much to choose from that choosing one was hard. I chose this because it is just so beautiful. I am a lover of trees and of the close-in landscapes. There’s such a sense of anticipation and delight in this photo – and don’t you just want to walk toward the light?
So this week is Christmas and my gift to myself is to just indulge myself and toss out my one Flickr Artist all the rest bloggers rule and highlight what caught my attention no matter why or where.
I love this photo from Jaja Lubitsch. Only a small portion of the photo is in focus while the rest is blurred. This creates an emotional connection for me, that blurring suggesting that she is lost in her own world at the moment, daydreaming of another, perhaps happier time. It disconnects her from the here and now and puts her into a reverie. There’s a sadness to her emotions signaled by her pose with her knees drawn up close to her chest, a position people often adopt when feeling lonely or sad. This photo doesn’t tell us a lot, it demands we write the story and that makes it fascinating.
I like this picture from Caótica Mai for Caótica May en SL. Her angle makes the photo so much more interesting and gives the pose sharp geometry. I love her use of just three colors and how that red just explodes on the page. It’s a striking editorial style photo that makes me sit up and take notice.
I love this romantic photo from Villemo Inglewood for her blog. Did you notice how the tree branches have the most unlikely curves in their curlicued reach? That’s brilliantly echoed by the MADDesign hair that she chose – a styling decision that make the photo so much more intriguing.
This picture from Amelie Fravoisse of Amie Fashion reminds me of that childhood wonder at the light fluffy flakes that seem to hold bits of sunshine in their crystals as they fall. That simple upward look with the head tilted back expresses the mood wonderfully.
I love the dreamy richness of Ilanit Orsini’s portrait here. I don’t know how many ladybugs venture out in the snow and certainly wish them well, but I love that element of red on her shoulder and the surprise it creates. I love that the tree branches on her head are more alive than the ones in the background – her mind a restorative magical place, obviously. The composition here is brillaint wiht her forearm coming into line with her shoulder to form a strong line that divides the foreground from the background.
I like the interesting crop that Summer Deadlight used for this photo for Fashion Art Beauty. It put our focus on the outfit and creates a sense of urgency and import. Summer often plays with light and this photo is no exception – blowing out a lot of the detail but adding energy and heat and a sense of power.
I like this photo from Evangeline Eames for Vinyl Cafe Addicts. The pose shows off the dress beautifully. She always put thought into her pose choice and composition that delivers consistently interestingly framed and composed photos while making the clothing the star in every shot.
Alicia Chenaux’s photo for her Ch’know blog journal is one of those story-telling moody photos that always draw me in. The pose itself is emotionally evocative, but use a blue-tint to the lighting and then adding that vignette framing increases the somber, sad and lonely feeling of the picture. The tears don’t hurt either.
I like Untouchable from ✿LILY✿ with it’s elements of whimsy and delight. There’s something about it that makes me think of Georges Seurat and it’s not the umbrella. There’s some noise in the photo from texturing or from the rain and fog that create a bit of the idea of pointillism, perhaps that is it. Some of that impression comes from her use of light as well. Whatever her intent, I think the photo is magical.
This piece from Nevery Lorakeet is called Cold Portrait. I love the stark lighting that emphasizes the contrast between her skin and her clothing and the brilliant use of white space to give what is essentially a relatively straightforward photo more dramatic power and interest. It’s a photo that caught my eye as a tiny thumbnail and won’t let go.
This picture from Dolly Baroque of Double Exposure is a lot of fun. It is clearly a story-telling photo and captures a feeling we all have in common, the tedium of a hard job that we don’t like to do. I like her pose and her world-weary expression. It’s different from the usual fashion blog photo but it really has a point of view and I salute that.
Amazon Silverweb shot this for Emlie’s Inventory and isn’t it just dreamy? The pose expresses that joy and abandon that we all wish we felt and can imagine ourselves experiencing as we run slow-motion through the meadow. Seriously, when you are wearing something this dreamy, you will run in slow-motion with fog filters. Her angle shot from below just adds to that feeling of floating on air.
Margot Muhindra is so skilled at creating a sense of intimacy and connection. Her photos tug at my heart and capture my imagination. I find myself imagining stories to go with them. In this, with her white gloves and pocketbook she looks ready to go to chuch, leaving someone behind under those rumpled covers. She has a look of sadness and apprehension at leaving so I wonder why and different storylines pop into my head and because her pictures can make me imagine not one life but several, I love her work.