Art History Photography
Artist Jane Long Digitally Manipulates Black and White WWI-Era Photos Into Colorful Works of Fantasy
Australian artist Jane Long transforms cracked and faded black and white photographs into colorful works of fantasy, giving the subjects a new, and entirely surreal context. The images she uses for her series, Dancing with Costica, were captured over a half century ago by Costică Acsinte a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI.
The glass-plate photographs by Costica capture the straight faces and intense eyes of the subjects taken long before smiling was common in images. “I wanted to change the context of the images,” says Long. “Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”
By altering the images Long imagines the subjects as characters, letting the audience decide whether they are bad or good. These colorful transformations have been a source of controversy as some viewers have felt it improper to alter images of those she doesn’t know. In response to these accusations the artist stands by her work and explains, “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.”
Long’s series Dancing with Costica will be exhibited from August 22nd to September 20th as part of the Ballarat International Photo Biennale. You can see more work by Long on her Facebook page here. (via My Modern Met)
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888,246 Ceramic Poppies Surround the Tower of London to Commemorate WWI
To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper conceived of a staggering installation of ceramic poppies planted in the famous dry moat around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the final work will consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers—each representing a British or Colonial military fatality—that flow through grounds around the tower.
Volunteers began placing the poppies several weeks ago and the process will continue through the summer until a final flower is symbolically planted on November 11th. You can read more about the project over on the Historic Royal Palaces website, and see the volunteers’ progress by following the #TowerPoppies hashtag on Twitter.
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