Artist/Photographer Research – Kertesz

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André Kertész  was a Hungarian-born photographer known for his groundbreaking contributions to photographic composition and the photo essay. In the early years of his career, his unorthodox camera angles and style prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. Nudity and convex mirrors were clearly a passion of Kertész’s. One of his body of works called Distortions includes 200 female nudes that are the result of optical experiments with reflections and mirrors. The Distortion series is the main innovative and owes some of its inspiration to the Surrealist influences of the time. His interest in distortions begins in 1917, when he photographed a swimmer underwater.

Kertész is seen by many to be the founder of the photo essay. A photo essay  is a set or series of images that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer. A photo essay will often show pictures in stages. These essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small notes to full text essays with a few or many accompanying photographs.

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I find it particularly interesting how the Perception of the body can be warped and blurred in such a way that it can be taken over the edge of unrecognisable or held at a point where the viewer can still conclude what the subject matter is. Various contemporary photographers express this concept through elaborate processes of distortion and Kertesz is one of them.

Kertész’s nudes can be interpreted in various ways. As female bodies that sublimate beauty and harmonic form. Or as an ironic commentary on the predominant representation of women as sexual objects. Overall his work lies somewhere between Modernism and documentary, but it hops around quite a bit between the two, so it’s probably best not to think about it like this.

Kertész’s nudes can be interpreted in various ways. As female bodies that sublimate beauty and harmonic form. Or as an ironic commentary on the predominant representation of women as sexual objects. Overall his work lies somewhere between Modernism and documentary, but it hops around quite a bit between the two, so it’s probably best not to think about it like this.

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Over all I find Kertesz distortion works surprisingly beautiful and visually dynamic. I think that viewing them as black and white images makes them more visually interesting also adding a sense of carefully considered composition to the final frames. The distortion aspect of this project is what lends the images so much visual intrigue and it is this that captivates the viewers. From being introduced to Kertesz works I definitely will be taking a great deal of inspiration from them with my current project. I think that this is the very aspect that is missing form my work, the fact that all of the images that I have shot so far are very dull, boring and similar. With the next and final shoot that I do, I will aim to capture the abstract landscape of the nude body. However, I will produce images that are a lot more unrecognisable aspects of the body, thus keeping the viewers guessing what body part the images are composed of.

 

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Filed under 352MC -Professional Photographic Practice, 3rd Year

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