Monday, 8 August 2011

digital age of innocence

Revered photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
once said: "We must remember that a photograph
can hold just as much as we put into it, and no
one has ever approached the full possibilities of
the medium.”  Nowadays we fully know how digital
imagery has turned upside down the whole notion
of taking and processing pictures.

Ruud van Empel is a Dutch visual artist who came
to develop his distinctive photo-art style thanks to
the new possibilities offered by digital manipulation
that led him assembling his masterfully detailed
images creating stirring and uniquely refined
hyperrealistic photomontages.

The Breda born and bred photographer currently
living and working in Amsterdam meticulously
assembles studio-taken model images together
with a huge series of detailed shots of leaves,
plants, insects, water lilies and ponds usually
taken while visiting parks or botanical gardens
to give birth to his own unspoiled paradise.

In his World, Moon, Dawn and Venus series,
van Empel depicted the innocence of childhood
through portraits of black children immersed
in a luxuriant, jungly yet romantic ”d'après
Henry Rousseau” habitat carefully selecting
and combining each single image to 
acheive the fitting effect.

I simply adore the kids' neutral poses, their
archetypical appearance within the carefully
recreated lush tropical settings, like in
old-fashioned studio photographs and that's
clearly the way Ruud chose to revise the
pictorial tradition through his digital montages.

A strong compelling, colorful combination
of lyrical and descriptive power.

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