Subjective Realities

man in purple

Man in Purple -- 2009

Each person’s heritage and life experiences are different, creating unique subjective realities that affect our interpretation of the world around us. I like these images because the feelings and stories they evoke for me tell me something about myself.

The original images were captured at night, handheld, without the benefit of flash. I then enhanced the indistinct and impressionistic qualities to make the images even less literal, and allow the viewer more freedom to reach their own conclusions.

generation gap

Generations Apart - 2009

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11 Comments on “Subjective Realities

  1. These sensitive images contain within them a storyboard that can lead in many directions which I think, achieves the purpose you intended. Great work Don!

  2. Thanks Robin! Not all art can or should have such obvious storyboard potential as these images, but in this case I think it enriches them.

  3. I’m a real sucker for the yellow and pastel purple combination.

    One of the things I like about your images is your placement of colours in your composition.

  4. Thaks, razzbuffnik! And now that you mention the yellow/purple thing, I realize I’ve just been working on another one that includes that element.

  5. I find that when I look at “Man in Purple” I am focused on the aesthetic quality and my mind isn’t telling me any stories. I agree with Razzbuffnik that the yellow and purple is a great combination. The composition of this one really works. I also like the “painterly” effect and the abstract quality of the lines and rectangles. Generations apart says more to me. I like the calm gentle expressions of the young men in contrast to the possibly disparaging looks of the older men. The dark and light values are very eye catching.
    All the best for 2010!
    Thanks for your insightful comments on my last post.

  6. Don, what did these images tell you about yourself? You can’t be saying that without me asking! the composition of the Generations apart appeals to me and does seem to ask something of the viewer. The foreground youth are higher and appear dominant, the background “oldies” are wearing flowered shirts and hats will bills in the front. The contrast of sartorial clues are poignant, saying what to me? I’m going to go in that drawer and get out my bell bottom pants and love beads!

  7. Catherine, thanks so much for your observations. Very helpful. You suggest how visual qualities, such as the color and composition, can either compete with (as in the first image) or complement (as in the second) the content of an image. It’s one of those things that should be obvious in this era where the medium can be more important than the message — but isn’t until someone points it out once again. Good food for thought!

    Pat, you can ask, but I don’t have to tell! Suffice to say it has to do with culture and generation gaps, the reading of cultural clues and signals, and one’s comfort level when living in a community where the dominant culture is different than your own. What, no tie-dyed blouse? Thanks for the comment!!

  8. Oh I love the carnival ones!
    And these…yes they’re very evocative, in a poignant way. To me, they invite the viewer in, I wonder if it’s because figures in them seem to be looking at us?
    also, really interesting process!

  9. Karen, thanks for your comment! Yes, lots of energy in the carnivalesque mocko jumbies. And the faces and eyes do draw one into these last two.

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