Saturday, May 14, 2011
Inspired by Steichen
My husband's uncle often gives us delicious Christmas gifts that feed our bodies such as delicately crafted marzipan fruits, but my favorite gift from him is one that feeds our souls, a subscription to Smithsonian magazine. Visiting the Smithsonian museums regularly is one of the things I miss since we moved from Washington D.C.
One of my favorite articles was about fashion photographer Edward Steichen. It was illustrated by his glamorous black and white photography from the 20s and 30s. Such and elegant period! When I finished reading the magazine, I couldn't bring myself to recycle it. The photographs called to me. I clipped them to store in my "idea file" to wait for an idea to arrive.
An idea eventually arrived, probably one that Steichen would greet with displeasure, yet one that made me smile. I decided to combine the refined elegance of the black and white photos with airy, vibrant tissue papers. In my first try, I tore random pieces of paper and began to decoupage them onto a canvas, but the pattern was too distracting so I shifted my focus to large squares of color. I'm happy with the end result and I get to enjoy Steichen's work with my own twist on it.
Have you ever taken liberties with a master's work?