PAINTER WITH A LOT TO TEACH PHOTOGRAPHERS


smart002Australian painter and long time Italian resident Jeffrey Smart died recently at 91.  As a photographer I’ve always thought that he had a lot to teach me. His sense of composition and balance is flawless.

The use small portraits in a vast land or industrial scape is both a device to imply scale and to place humans into context within the landscape, is a technique I like. It’s also one that is used by some photographers … perhaps most successfully by English portraitist, Andy Earl.

Smart’s 1991-92 portrait of writer/broadcaster  Clive James, has become one of the iconic images of post-war Australian art. It’s a painting that I always spend time with, each time I visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Co-incidentally, I bought a copy of MASTER OF STILLNESS  Jeffrey Smart Paintings 1940 – 2011, by Barry Pearce (Wakefield Press RRP $A49.99) a couple of weeks before he died. I have been dipping into it since I bought it, and it is a great introduction to his work. Production values are high so it is possible to get a good overview of the paintings.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s