This juxtaposition of human and natural objects creates provocative content with clashing messages.
Susan says, “Here Lucia has photographed a dinner bell in near silhouette framed from behind by prickly weeds and a ghostly cactus. A promise of nourishment and harm. (And just, by the way, doesn’t that cactus look hungry – drooping from lack of food?) These is a great deal of art in this photo. Balance, color, shape, pattern, perspective – all very well done, but it is the mad juxtaposition of purposes that rings my chimes. I love to think about the contradictions inherent in this neighborly arrangement. The message I get is to look around you and ponder. Don’t just let it all wash over you, no matter how artful and easily “liked” for the perfection of its composition. There is a little war happening here between the muted, pastel desert landscape and the massive over-kill construction of the dinner bell, with its steel posts and rusty chain.”
Provocative Content Tells a Story
Lucia says, “I had a lot of trouble composing this photo. I wanted to capture the rustic quality of this setting, but wasn’t sure how much to include. What angle, how wide to shoot, did the dinner bell get lost in the background? A close up of the bell would have been nice, but it would have lost a sense of place and that was the essence of the story. Susan did an excellent job of describing what I was trying to accomplish. The delicate desert landscape and the heavy, rusted dinner bell together provoked and interesting dichotomy between nature and man-made devises. Yet the two are connected in subtle ways in this photo. Let’s forget all the clashing messages and notice the color of the bell and the sand behind it. They are different shades of the same color. And framing both is the complementary color of the sagebrush and cactus. What else to you see in this photo that either complements or clashes? As Susan said, ‘look around and ponder’”
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