Yes, I’m late for inaugurating 2020 on this blog, but I’ll do it in style: let’s go for a new photo game round with no less than oyo and Melusina Parkin. To start with, I’d like to thank both – who are great artists, that I admire so much – for having accepted my invitation to write about each other’s pictures. The idea, as in previous rounds, is for readers to get in touch with what goes through those artists’ minds when they observe the selected photos. Each one of them has chosen three pictures by the other photographer to comment on. So, here’s what they say:
On Melusina Parkin, by oyo:
Melusina instills a delicate touch of loneliness in each of her photos. The subject is often central, lost in the uniformity of a tone or a sky. I like this distilling that in the end brings a very noticeable depth to the photo.
Solitudes 3: About the first photo, that tree lives in two worlds, the one above and the one below, all and nothing, real and virtual, the mirror effect of yin and yang invite us to contemplation.
Solitudes 4: About the second photo, chosen, in the first place, because I like seagulls, the bird ton sur ton, in its provoking simplicity, looks somewhere else. Manifest realism, almost no editing, purity of the subject that makes me think of some Magritte.
Solitudes 6: About the third one, the inertia of the central subject (the chair) gives us the impression of a whirlwind, of smells and scents around it. There, again, nothing is superfluous, no addition comes to interfere with the minimalist image.
Absence… of anything superfluous, where eyes are free and imagination is captivated – that’s what makes me enjoy so much the images by Melusina.*
On oyo, by Melusina Parkin:
Plonger au coeur de la nuit: Although the scene is rich as to components, it looks very minimal: the “negative spaces” of the walls and of the dark background surrounds the dramatic pose of the girl in the center, lightened by the lamp on the ceiling. The choice of the perspective, that is not frontal, gives a touch of mystery: is that a prayer or a dance, or even a fall? We can’t see if the scene is happening in a theater or in a room, although the light lets us see some details around. Colors and lights are the strongest point of the photo: despite their uniform look, their palettes are very rich and give to the main subject a special relief.
unnecessary: Uniform color tone, out of focus edges, strong lights made of this picture a stunning example of what is possible to tell without filling a scene with details. Hard edges, although fading in the background, drive the observer’s gaze to the center, close up the subject and enhance the depth of the image. The first impression is that the focus of the picture is the woman hidden behind the screen, but the protagonist is actually the screen itself: it hides the half of the body, it reflects the light spots, it makes us wonder about the action the woman is doing. It reminds us that behind a panel, a screen, a curtain there are always humans, with their feelings, their bias and their skills.
Un parapluie pour deux: The livid light of the image tells that we can be lonely even when we are close to another person. The man and the woman neither look at or speak to each other. What makes the photo slightly surreal is the contrast: dark clouds and dark sea fight against the detail and the strong shadow of the umbrella. The humans in the scene look to be there by chance: their outfits aren’t appropriate to a walk on the seaside, but they are provident as to the weather: the umbrella could have been a shelter for the sun that lights up the pier or against the storm announced by the dark clouds coming on the background. The misleading combination of elements and the slight blurring of the whole image make the picture mysterious and rather disturbing, despite the calm mood of the persons portrayed.
oyo has originally written in french – and I will leave her original text here for those who would like to see what it says:
Melusina a la particularité de déposer une délicate touche de solitude dans chacune de ses photos. Le sujet est souvent central, perdu dans l’uniformité d’un ton ou d’un ciel. J’aime ce côté épuré qui finalement apporte énormément de relief à la photo.
Sur la première photo, cet arbre vit dans deux mondes, le dessus et le dessous, le tout et le rien, le réel et le virtuel, l’effet miroir du yin et du yang invite à la contemplation.
Sur la seconde photo, tout d’abord choisie parce que j’aime les mouettes, l’oiseau ton sur ton, de sa simplicité provoquante, regarde ailleurs. Evident réalisme, sans effet, pureté de l’être qui me fait penser à certains Magritte.
Sur la troisième, l’immobilisme du sujet central (la chaise) donne l’impression d’un tourbillon de vent, d’odeurs autour de lui. Là encore, aucun superflus, aucun ajout ne vient brouiller l’image minimaliste.
L’absence… de superflu où l’oeil est libre et l’imaginaire captivé, c’est ce qui fait que j’aime tant les images de Melusina.