Lene Basma

I was immediately taken by Lene’s self-portrait. It’s one of those deceptively simple, yet striking, images at first glance: everything fit so well together I did not notice the complexity of the image, nor the care with which images were prepared for layering. I saw the “bird’s nest” at the top of the image, the darkened lower corners, the red lips painted in. And I thought it was really nice. Later, when going through the past couple days’ submission for the daily pic, I saw that the image had seventeen “likes.” Normally I don’t pay a lot of attention to “likes” —I am very happy that people like the images of course. But that’s a pretty good number, and one doesn’t get that on Pixels just because one is popular on facebook.

I started looking at the image little closer. I began to see that there are a number of images at play here. But first and foremost I love the way Lene has flattened her face – a wide-eyed innocent mask – into a monotone except for her irises and put all the depth and texture around her face with the other images. The teardrop, the bare trees layered in behind her face are just perfectly placed. The red lips are a wonderful touch, adding a slightly playful and sexy element, Lene’s hand in the work.

I love how she apped foliage atop her head, blurred with a diffuse glow it looks like. And the flower adds such a sweet, girlish touch, but even it is fading into the background like a ghost.

Or … is the girl the garden itself, the garden the girl? The layered lipstick emblematic of an insecure girl/woman unsure of her worth and beauty in a more jaded world? The more I look at this picture, the more I see how it could be interpreted in a bunch of different ways, all of which would be correct.

Art, anybody? Indeed.

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