Thursday, 11 November 2010

Fancoise Hardy's Harley (or Honda...)

Photographer unknown (to me), ca. 1967

Although more famous for a photo of her and a big bad motorcycle, French 1960's pop star, Francoise Hardy also know how to ride one of the most peculiar bicycles I have seen lately. A that regularly shot Hardy and many other of the flamboyant French stars (although i don't think he took these shots, does somebody know?), like my all time favorite BB and France Gall is Jean-Marie Perier (1940). Who's work was recently on display and for sale at VIP'S gallery in Amsterdam. This gallery specializes in photographs of the rich and (in)famous, but nothing too glamorous.

 Photographer unknown (to me), ca. 1965

Monday, 8 November 2010

From Bicyles to Bisons to Picasso to PIPS:lab

New York, NY, US, 1945, Gjon Mili

One of my favorite places to 'shop' for photographs is the LIFE image database. My search always starts with the word bicycle, the following search result is as varied as it is mono-thematic.  Although the bicycle is just one out of millions and millions subjects that are available to the photographers lens, the ways it appears on photographs is just as numerous.This seems to be true for every subject which makes mono-thematic research my approach of choice for my meandering and wandering trough photography's vast history.

The photograph above for example, probably will remind most viewers of something similar with horses. Eadweard Muybridge used photography to dissect movement and became famous for his series of galloping horses, which he was asked to make by railroad magnate Leland Stanford in 1872 in order to proof that a horse, during gallop is fully detached from the ground at one moment.

He did something similar with an American bison (which seems to me a lot harder to handle than a horse):
American bison – set to motion using photos by Eadweard Muybridge

The photographer that was responsible for the stroboscopic image above however: Gjon Mili, was a promoter of incorporating movement in photography in his own right. Using electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs that had more than just a scientific interest, he captured, next to cyclists, dancers and other performers. For LIFE magazine, which he worked for, for more than 40 years, he made a reportage with Pablo Picasso, who is painting with light.

 Triple exposure of artist Pablo Picasso drawing w. light at his home in Vallauris. 1949, Gjon Mili

This series of photographs reminded me immediately of the theatrical performances by Amsterdam based collective PIPS:lab. They have been using their self-developed real time equivalent of the "writing with light" technique in several of their projects. The Lumas2solator being the first to introduce this technique to the public.

Lumatosolator from PIPS:lab on Vimeo.