Emanuel Faria - The Diva

This weeks picks (as always, it was not easy narrowing it down to these eighteen), in no particular order:

  • Andrea KoernerKaleidoscope of Color. You know what I say about “apping that bitch ’til it sings.” We have about three arias going simultaneously here. So much is working together there: the super saturation, the implied texturing, the swirling kaleidoscope (indeed) of color in the sky: where did that come from? I love the lavenders and pinks of the stream—and the greens – algae? The grungy torn-edge on both vertical sides of the image. The yellows, oranges, and greens of the grass on either side of the stream and the clustered trees in the distance. As I said, completely over the top … BUT … when I look at this picture, only one thought comes to mind: it’s all alive!
  • Candice Chidiac ~ Making Waves. This is such a lovely shot. A young girl wading into a wide river—or is it a bay?—concentric ripples radiating out from her legs as she moves through the water, hunched in slight trepidation against the cold, with a stylized urban skyline on the horizon, reflected in the still waters. I love how Candice has reduced the color palette to muted greens and greys, except for the stripes on her bathing suit and the troughs in the ripples. I love the stylized cityscape across the water as well. And what I really wonder is how cold the water is and how far out is she going to go?
  • Cat MorrisThe Earth Laughs In Flowers. – E. E. Cummings. Just a beautiful capture of some flowers in bloom, the translucence of their petals, perhaps dancing in the breeze. I like how Cat blurred the background, yet held the delicate edges of the petals in all their beautiful fragility. 
  • Cathy RossWhere Dandelions Gather. We got a lot of flower pictures this week. It’s that time of year. The number of bare tree shots has coincidentally dropped dramatically. I just loved this picture the moment I saw it. The dandelions clustered like mushrooms, or a little band of school girls on parade, wearing fuzzy winter hats in a sea of docile greens and jutting reds. Cathy has transformed this lovely nature shot into an abstraction, almost, but one vibrant and alive.
  • Damian De SouzaA Dog Becoming A Cat. I just thought this was one of those funny and clever pictures where the funny far outweighs the clever. Hell I even think the huge black border adds to it. Plus, I am a cat-lady, so …
  • Danny PanasethThe Don. A very cool and moody shot, high chiaroscuro, jazz implicit. Is that cigar smoke he’s exhaling into the night? Or a poltergeist coalescing in the air in front of him?
  • Emanuel FariaThe Diva. Another image where the apping is so over the top, it’s perfect. I have NO idea what the grey … tiling is that surrounds her: it’s ridiculous. And fantastic. She pops of it like a pop tart out of the toaster, hot and sweet. Her streaked hair cascading into bold strokes over her shoulders; the saturation and flattening of the skin tones; the lips look like they’ve been painted with oil pastels rather than lipstick. I really like how the midtone transitions around her face, hairline, jaw line, pick up the grey of the background pattern. And how he used some sort of posterization, blurred perhaps, to give the whole image an amazing pop sensibility. What completes the whole thing, though, are the swirling clouds and blue skies and trees reflected in her sunglasses: wonderful!
  • Glenn HomannSparkle In The Sand. This is such a sweet picture. Absolutely iresistable. Reducing the palette and antiquing the look was the perfect choice here. Even the framing adds to the beauty conveyed in the moment. I just love how her shadow stretches toward us across the damp sand. She is oblivious to everything else, totally focused on the sparkle in the sand, as she should be.
  •  Lanie HellerHow we see things. Red lips again. This is a deceptively simple piece, although I think Lanie did a lot of work on the images before turning one upside down and layering the two images together. They aren’t exactly alike and it’s very interesting how the shadow of the upside down neck splits the face of the upright. Some really good choices on applied texture, as well as the use of median blurring (I think). It’s an image both smart and sexy, neither happy nor sad, perhaps resigned, but determined to keep going. If we put aside the facial indicators (lips and eyes primarily), the picture becomes an abstract with a lovely flow of color, wonderful composition.
  • Jamie StewartThe Wood Of Broken Promises. Jamie is the only person I know of who does concept pieces like this. Often they are quite funny. This one is a clash between funny—the over coats hanging off the bare trees—and the pathos of the kneeling man holding his face overwhelmed in grief. Does it work? Beautifully, in that weird Jamie Stewart way. Another picture where the flattening of the palette and the vintage grungeing of the picture work very well.
  • Joel AdamDominion. A bold piece. No idea what it’s about, but it gripped me immediately the first time I saw it. The desaturation is really well done and the overlay of the masking rectangles, the red concentric rings and the cryptic type (a command line entry?) evoke a story I hope is only fiction.
  • Lene BasmaTales of the Adventurous Dress. They Told Me To Guard This, But Never How To Make Sense Of It All. Well, hell, one of these days I will find out just what on earth that red accordian-fold cone object is. I think I’ve given it more thought than the apes did to the monolith in 2001:A Space Oddyssey. But just look at this image: the two black-and-whites faded way back and combined in the background, the trees, the railings, and the girl’s face, arm, dress (?) and one shoe overlaid on them. I give up! All mimsy were the borogroves.
  • Mark BaconWolf Creek, KY. I find this picture to be simply a gorgeous land- and waterscape. The trees in the foreground, the shore across the river, over which a tendril of mist floats, the haze in the distance and the high clouds. I just love the tranquility of the piece.
  • Paul ToussaintThe Gun Club. “When I hold you in my arms/and I feel my finger on your trigger/I know that nobody can do me no harm/’cuz happiness is warm gun/yes it is, mama” —John Lennon, Happiness Is A Warm Gun. That is one hell of a gun. That is one hell of a holster. Love the over-saturation in the rest of the picture, and pushing Dynamic Light. But the gun is unadorned, old, as is the holster, been worn a long time and it shows, but it is from there that all the power flows in this image.
  • Rad DrewQueen of Hearts: “Off with their heads!” I am running out of steam—it’s two-fourteen, I started at ten, thinking it would take an hour to knock off this weeks {second look}—so I don’t have much to say about this one: it’s just great fun, a blast of color and shapes colliding with one another. It is in our DNA to detect faces and Rad has provided us with plenty of source material for that. And also, I love it!
  • Rebekah SchillerMusic is. The look on the mother’s face is the whole picture. Brilliant capture. The sepia tone is a great choice. This picture was singing right out of the gate. Rebekah preserved the beauty of the moment and of motherhood by adhering to that old maxim: Less is more.
  • Rino RossiNo Rerun. Hell, I don’t know what to say about this one. I love Rino: he takes chances, always pushing himself, experimenting with form, color, composition. These disparate elements, the blue background, the multi-colored vortex, and the wavy lines and ovals come together in the oddest and most engaging manner: A bit of Dr. Suess, a little psychedelia, early Warhol line drawings.
  • Tracy MunsonShipwreck. I love the grungy, splattered apping of the sky here, the colors and the saturation evoking the karmic energy enveloping the grounded ship and its tilted masts. And the rust, browns, and oranges of the brush in the foreground suggesting fire—amazing!

It’s two-forty-five. I’m bouncing. ‘Til next time, kids.
{second look. sunday.} is sponsored by P1xels—The Fine Art of the iPhone.