Photography has become a true art like cinema, theatre, sculpture, and others. However, it has its own particularities: for example, it is possible to immortalize no more than a second, and there is no way to make any changes in the shot. What is more, it is necessary to mention that photographers are always limited by their own camera, which has specific technical characteristics that are not under the control of the creator (Chen et al., 2018). Nevertheless, photography nowadays balances between being art and mass entertainment. It is important to define whether this sphere is only for professionals or, on the contrary, for the users of Instagram, travelers, and amateurs.
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The title: Madeleine, Lee Jeffries, 2019, France.
Lee Jeffries is one of the most famous and well-known portrait photographers all over the world. One of his recent projects is the photos of homeless people in different countries. For the realization of this idea, he used Canon and made monochromatic portraits (Jeffries, n.d.). I have chosen one of the art pieces from this series, which is called “Madeleine” (Appendix A) by the name of the woman portrayed (Jeffries, n.d.). By doing this project, Jeffries tried to draw attention to the urgent problem of homelessness.
Personal Art Piece
The title of the work that I created is “Empowered” (Appendix B). I was inspired by the project presented by Jeffries; it is possible to note that people never look in the eyes of homeless people, never notice them on the streets just passing through. The look of the woman on the chosen photo shows that she suffered many times in her life, but she is still strong enough to fight for a better future. When I tried to analyze my feelings, I found out that I did not feel sorry for her or disliked her personality. In contrast, I felt sympathy for this woman and her ability to cope with the injustice and inequity of the modern world.
I decided to make an art piece that would be an image of human dignity. What is more, it was vital for me to show that the value of life does not depend on race, cultural background, external circumstances, gender, or age. From my perspective, people are empowered by their forces and the strength that we all have inside. Despite the fact of social inequity, every human being has an opportunity to be a part of the universe.
The two art pieces are connected by the topic of social injustice and, at the same time, people’s strength. The homeless woman and a person from my work represent human dignity and the value of life. On the one hand, these pieces have several formal similar characteristics, such as the image of a woman, a portrait, a non-interactive format. On the other hand, the photograph is much more about an urgent social problem and the absence of a solution; my painting, in contrast, is more encouraging. It is possible to notice that the photo is black-and-white while my work is colorful and bright. This decision I made because I believe in the future of humankind and justice in the world.
If the photo was printed in good quality, it could be said that both works are the same medium. However, the difference is that the painting exists in the only copy and has its physical manifestation. At the same time, the photograph is situated in the online-sources, and that is why there is an infinite number of it. From my point of view, the art piece that exists in the personal space physically is supposed to have a stronger impact on the viewer than the one from the Internet. Nevertheless, it is also a question of the purpose of work and its presentation to the audience. The photograph is a portrait, and Jeffries follows the rules of this genre in an excellent way, so the details and the elements correspond to each other and complement the art piece.
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Chen, Y. S., Wang, Y. C., Kao, M. H., & Chuang, Y. Y. (2018). Deep photo enhancer: Unpaired learning for image enhancement from photographs with gans. Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 1(1), pp. 6306–6314.
Jeffries, L. (n.d.) Madeleine. 500px. Web.