Topographics

 I took inspiration from a collection of Cindy Sherman’s photos of self-portraits in different disguises, something she has been doing for the last 30 years.  However, instead of taking self-portraits, I used a model.  I decided on a Charlie Chaplin disguise, after looking at Irving Penn’s portrait of Woody Allen dressed as Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin is a well known and interesting character to portray and is just as expressive and comedic as clowns. I took multiple photographs and put them together to create a storyboard effect and added text similar to the works of Duane Michals.

In this photograph I was inspired by Duane Michals works where he incorporates script, texture and leaves blank spaces to create boarders and such into his photographs.  I decided to give this photograph a sort of postcard template and to include a quote of Charlie Chaplin, which I felt linked to the image.

In a collection of my photographs I chose clowns as my subject matter, which has been the focal point in a collection of Cindy Sherman’s photography. In this photo I decided to emulate Cecil Beaton’s early portraiture works.  In Beaton’s photographs he merged his black and white photographs to create a blurred, overlapping effect. I love Beaton’s early works, as their quite harrowing and ghostly. Therefore, in this photograph I tried to emulate Beaton’s style, by using layers and by converting the photograph to black and white in Photoshop which, worked effectively.

In this photo I was inspired by the psychedelic and bright backgrounds used in Cindy Sherman’s photographs of clowns.  Therefore, I used a background I had created with inks, which I scanned into the computer and faded over the image in Photoshop to create similar effects to Sherman.  However, I wanted to maintain a certain amount of eeriness so I had the clown stand within the shadows of a doorway, to create areas of darkness in the image.

In this photo I was again inspired by Sherman’s works of clowns, only this time I made the image brighter, conveying the funnier prankster side of clowns, as the model peers round the corner, readily awaiting to jump out at passers by. I wanted to convey surrealism through the bright colours and wanted to remind the audience of lights and colours you would often see at the circus.

Duane Michals often creates one photograph that consists of multiple images, which are often layout separately to convey unravelling events or movement. I was inspired by this idea but instead of separating the images I wanted to combine them. So in this image I used different photographs of the same clown to create the illusion of there being multiple clowns in one image, to create a surreal effect.

Again in this image I created the illusion of there being more than one clown after being inspired by Duane Michals photography. In this photo I wanted to make the colours of the clown very bright and intense similarly to Cindy Sherman, to create a garish, sharp effect but keep the background dark.

Cindy Sherman’s collection of Clown photographs, only feature one clown per photo and so in this photo I kept the editing to a minimum and only featured one clown.  Sherman’s photos are very brash with bright backgrounds so I emulated those aspects in this photo.

Photographs © Sophie Moet

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