DAVID CLIFTON-STRAWN

P H O T O G R A P H Y

Simple, Complex, Obvious and Profound

Portraits of Atlanta Artists

Simple, Complex, Obvious and Profound is portrait project documenting creatives living and working in the metro-Atlanta, Georgia area.

 

Atlanta has a vibrant arts community, but for a few well-known individuals, most artists working and living in Atlanta go unrecognized, known only to their peers, friends and patrons. Having grown up in Atlanta and loving my hometown, I decided to contact people working in a variety of disciplines and invite them to sit for a portrait. These portraits, currently numbering 64, along with written statements from the artists, make up the body of this work.

 

The artists selected their own wardrobe and styling. Stage performers, such as burlesque dancers, often presented as their stage personas. The photoshoots were completely collaborative. Allowing each subject to lead on how they wanted to be photographed created an intimacy and familiarity which I believe is evident in the work.

 

The poses and staging were a nod to the celebrity portraits I grew up seeing in fashion and lifestyle magazines which introduced me to photographers who continue to inspire me. This aesthetic connects the viewer directly to the subject and presents the artist in an elevated and respectful manner.

 

Once concluded, the images and texts will become a book. Working through this process, I am often reminded of words of the French poet, Charles Baudelaire, “A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.”

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