Saturday, February 15

Jeff Wall: In Retrospect.

jeff wall book

For my presentation this week, i researched Jeff Wall, a Canadian photographer and art historian. While his photographs are striking, what really captured my interest was his technique. Instead of going out and shooting ordinary situations, he "begins by not photographing", and later recreates scenarios through the lens of his memory. This technique confers a cinematographic mood to his images, allowing Wall to capture moments that are at once spontaneous and constructed. However, this re-visioning process is not exclusively limited to his life experiences. Works such as Picture for Women (1979), and The Destroyed Room (1978) are allusions to Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, and Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus, respectively. I admit that I am a bit of an art history nerd so once I read about the process and inspiration behind each photograph I had a new appreciation for his work. I also really enjoyed his visualization of the prologue of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It looks exactly how I imagined it when I read the book!

Overall, Jeff Wall has inspired me to put more thought behind my photography and creative work. If you get a chance, I highly recommend browsing through his MOMA interactive exhibit and reading what he has to say about his works.
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