The Artwork Of Contemporary Artists Arts Essay

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My current Body of work is focused on having multiple layers of depth. I am also exploring how light affects the urban landscape and how different kinds of lights affect what kind of mood, atmosphere or emotion is portrayed through a image. The three artists and there photographs that I am researching are Fiona Amundsen as her works is focus hugely in the urban landscape. Wayne Barrar is the second artist I am looking at and is has recently done work based around the concept of showing the true reality of Lake Manapouri. The third artist I am exploring is Sam Hartnett and his work is in a sense showing objects that would normally be ignored and bringing them into another light and making them interesting and almost comedic in a way.

The first artist's work I am going to discuss is Fiona Amundsen. Her current work style is focused in the urban environment and how people can often not stop to take it whats happening around them in the and take notice of what could be important in the future seems meaningless to the worlds population. Her "Miracle on the Han River" works are all focused around the Han River and the name suggests but her compositions of each photograph are controlled and specific as to how she want the image to look. They are all composed with a foot path dominating the left or right side of the image and the river taking up the rest of the image. The way she has composed her images in this way create vanishing points in each photograph one way or another. The photos also have sky scrapers and multi-story buildings in the background which gives the image multiple levels of depth with is an aesthetic I like in my own images as well. Her images also have a deadpan feel to them in a sense which is an aesthetic I am exploring in some of my own photographs.

The second artist that is relevant to my work is Wayne Barrar. His photography subjects are vast in a sense but his most current work he has been exploring the Manapouri power station and exposing it in a very different light to what is commercially shown to tourists as a natural untouched environment. Instead showing it as what is really there as almost a sense of protest and portraying the reality of how man has dug away to create tunnels in the stone. His photos have almost the opposite of romanticism as to what is normally presented to the public. Instead they show the reality of whats really there and the way he has taken them they look polluted, the photograph I am particularly referring to is "Twin tunnels, Manapouri Underground Power Station, 2005". There is a large chunk of Wayne's work which is focused on how human kind has modified the landscape how they bend nature to there will. Wayne has done other work on tunnels which a artificially lit. These are the works that are relevant to my work. As his works that portray this style of artificially lit situations is the aesthetic I am looking for in my own images.

The Third artist that I am looking in to for my body of work is Sam Hartnett. Sam is a rising contemporary artist and has shared some very interesting in a show called "From the Depths of Suburbia" and this collection of images he had in this show at the Te Tuhi gallery in Manukau city.

The images he shown were what can be best described as a weird series of photographs. His work is not very similar to mine in the sense of subject matter but the concept of making something that is normally unnoticed or bland made interesting or mystified in a way makes you question things in the composition and how such items could end up in such a way like in the photographs.

Roland Barthes wrote a book called "Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography" this book is based around Roland's theories about photography and how he feels about the way people interpret a photographic image. I personally like his theories as they are very relevant to my current and previous bodies of work. He feels writes that viewing photographs is a constant progression of reinterpretation. That statement is perfect for my view on how I want people to view my images as I do not want to tell the viewer exactly what my photo is supposed to depict. In my photographs I want the viewer to see what they see. I do not like the concept of telling the viewer exactly what they have to see, I prefer my images to be ambiguous.

The main concept of my work is to portray an emotion, mood and atmosphere through my images and also allow the viewer to come to their own conclusions about what they get from my image. Obviously as an artist you need to give some idea as to the concept and reasoning behind your work and that is why I enjoy posing a question to the viewer in my statements. Which Roland Barthes book Camera Lucida backs up my argument for the fact that the viewer is the one who decides what they see in the image. An interesting point of Sam Hartnett's work is he takes pictures of objects that would normally be boring or ignored bringing them into a new light and presenting them in a formal way making them more than what they are. Fiona Amundsen's work is interesting it the way she composes here Han River series she has a very specific way she composes her images which is one aspect I try to control when I take my picture as I consciously crop within the frame of my camera to control what will and what won't be in my final images. And lastly Wayne Barrar's images of lake Manapauri power station are very fascinating in the way he is trying to expose the reality of what is really at lake Manapauri instead of the romanticized version that is normal shown to tourists which is quite intriguing because although his images a very raw and not aesthetic to the eye they still draw the viewer in to look deeper to see where the tunnels go and to see if you can make anything out of the darkness which is an feature I am trying to get in my images.

In conclusion this essay discussed three artists and their works. I also discuss Roland Barthes and how his theories help to contextualize my body of work. The three artists I looked into are Fiona Amundsen, Wayne Barrar and Sam Hartnett each of their styles of photography are different yet in a way they all connect when it comes to my concept. The connection between their style of photography and mine varies from minor comparisons to common ground

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