I love it when I recognise influences of fashion in art, of art in architecture, of architecture in food and of food in fashion. All those chickens gathered during my excursions into magazine-land come home to roost – and I can give myself a mental high-five (wow, I sound sad).
My friend Eddie Clarke would undoubtely recognise the works of art that influenced each of these portraits by Australian photographer Bill Gekas. Portraiture isn’t my thing – but I could pick out a couple of Vermeer, Van Gough and Rembrandt homages. Which I love.
Gekas has taken something that works – and translated it into another medium. He’s changed it up: instead of using adults – as per the originals, he has used his 5-year old daughter as the model.
He also created mid-18th Century settings – in his studio and home. No mean feat because lighting is always a challenge and most of these portraits were painted in Europe – which definitely had different light to sunny OZ. Bill says that strobe lights came in handy here – allowing him to create the soft natural lighting present in the old Masters.
Gekas has this advice for the creatively-challenged among us: “Don’t be scared of taking certain elements from different works and molding them into something to call your own. You might like the lighting from a photo you saw somewhere, a prop from another photo, colors from another”, he says. “The key is not to limit yourself with the excuse, ‘It’s all been done before.’ Yes, many things have been done before, but with some careful thought you can adjust a concept to give it your signature. Experiment!”
So – it’a all about taking something that works and doing more of it. Which is fast becoming our motto at C&S.