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The "Street Observations" Photo Blog featuring street photography and observations from photographer John Fraissinet. (Now in its 8th Year).

Entries in art (7)



The fence alone the river separates the escalade from the parking lots.  But, you can still see through and picture the world beyond.  It creates a dotted surrealism like a comic book or the pointillism of Seurat.  



Art in everyday Life

I've been using the slogan for my photography profile pages of "Looking to capture the Art in everyday life". But, I didn't really literally mean that until I saw this....


Ivan Meštrović

So, our cruise was stopping in Split, Croatia and we had to select something to do as an "excursion" on shore.  I personally knew nothing about Split, but my wife was thrilled that we were stopping there, as she knew something that I did not.  Split, was the home of the famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović.  And, she was a lover of sculpture and loved his work.  Here is his Wikipedia entry

One of the tours featured, among other things, a visit to his home which was also his gallery.  It is majestic and overlooks the Adriatic sea.  His work is scattered around the grounds and the interior of the house is the primary gallery.  It was interesting to imagine the world of Mr. Mestrovic.


Creating Art

Interpreting and appreciating art is a personal experience. What one person may love, another may dislike, or "not get". When I post my pictures on the flickr website, I get immediate feedback and it allows me to ponder what others might see in the pictures. While I only post pictures that I think have some merit, sometimes the reaction is out of synch with my own opinion of the shot.

Here's what I'm reacting to... last week in a poring rain storm I parked myself underneath a building portico and took a lot of pictures of wet people. Since it was dark, I used a high ISO, this meant that the pictures would be brighter but also grainier. Here is the picture that I started working with. Not a great picture, but with some post-processing, it looked to have some potential.

The main appeal to me in the composition was the positioning of the cab turning onto Park Row. So, I cropped it and straightened it. It was OK, but nothing special to me. So, I started playing around with some of the values in Lightroom, a tool I use to manage my photo library. I finally settled on posting this version of the picture.

I thought it was good, and fairly interesting, but those on flickr responded in a way that was out of synch with how I saw the picture. They made it by marking it with the most "favorites" of any picture I have ever put up there, and in the shortest amount of time. As a matter of fact, when I saw it online, I wasn't completely happy with it. I was going to replace it with a version that I had worked with before posting it, which was this one.

I do think this one is the best, but I won't replace it since people liked the other one so much. In any case, it is ultimately a creation of art, using only the building blocks of what was there. And, I'm quite happy with that result.

In the end though, while I think it's a very good picture, I do not think it is great. (There are others I've taken that I think are great which have barely gotten a reaction). But that's just what I think, and what do I know, I'm only one person.


The Red Cube

So, on the corner of Broadway and Liberty Place is this huge red cube. It is an art work, which is called "The Red Cube", done by the artist Isamu Noguchi.

It's kind of out of place amongst the tall black buildings. And, it is in a tourist location, near Wall Street and the World Trade Center site. People like to pose with it, pretending they are holding it up from afar (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa). It's also interesting in various types of weather. In the winter, it's kind of like a square igloo on its side.

In rainy weather, if you stand in the right place you can be kind of protected from the elements.

But the main reason I'm writing about this is because of this abstract picture I took through the center with perfect positioning to see this reflection of the building across the street.


Norman Rockwell

During a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum, there was a gallery discussion in which the artists' techniques were presented. His characterizations were created by specifically posing his models with the positioning and expressions that he wanted to portray. During the modeling sessions, he would take hundreds of photos of the characters and then paint from the photos.

His pictures are so realistic, and detailed that they are a bit like photographs, except far more perfect than you could hope to capture in a candid picture. Here are some examples, I can't put any here directly due to copyright issues.

His studio (roof of the building pictured) was relocated intact from downtown Stockbridge to the grounds of the museum outside of the Massachusetts town. The inside was left just as it was when he last used it. And, in the basement of the museum were 100s of covers from the Saturday Evening Post that he did over the year. The original art was on display, and I was surprised by how large the paintings were (perhaps 4-5 feet high). This was so there would be room for all the details that he wanted to include.

Seeing all of the personality in the works, it made me want to take it as inspiration for some of my street photography and I will be trying to focus on special moments if I can. Looking through pictures I've taken previously, these are the ones that I think are most like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Old Gentlemen in Central Park
Old Gentlemen in Central Park

The Deal
The Deal


Body Art


Body Art
Originally uploaded by jfraissi

There is a lot of infrastructure construction happening on lower Broadway. Centers of streets are torn up and construction workers are digging holes and laying huge pipes. To separate this dangerous work from the average Joe, plastic barriers are constructed, sometimes with green mesh behind. The plastic is in bright yellow, green and orange colors. Holes let you see through (it's probably cheaper also as holes are free).

This photograph shows a spot where two of the colored plastic strips come together. This guy's arm and his striped shirt turned out to be a great compositional element. I like this on its standalone art value, it really means nothing so I would consider it an "abstract".