I looked at Laura Letinsky’s work when I was doing the Art of Photography, my first module. As back then, I still don’t really relate very well to her work. Yes, its all about the light and trying to copy the Dutch Renaissance painters in moods and tones – that I do get. I think when she lost me was when she started combining food with magazine cutouts in some of her oevres.
In an interview with Aperture Magazine Letinsky states: “still lifes … interests me as a genre in the same way that concepts of love interest me—its association with the feminine, its characterization as “less important,” its affiliations with domesticity and intimacy” (Aperture). She goes on to say that her work is about looking at something and other bodily experiences. Personally I do have to wonder what “other bodily experience” I should be having when viewing the image below.
I do see slight nuances or new takes on the Dutch Renaissance painters in some of her work. But whereas the Dutch still lifes reflect new discoveries, opulence and abundance, Letinsky’s seem to reflect waste, mess and disposable garbage. I’m still not sure exactly how the octopus fits in in the image above or what he represents, apart from weirdness.
I wanted there to be a palpable absence, this feeling of something missing–like it’s the end of the play and the curtain has not only fallen, but re-opened, and now they’re sweeping out the theater.
Mouth to Mouth
Susan Bright in Art Photography Now claims that the fruit in Letinsky’s images “is not laden with the symbolic meanings of painting, but act in a more metaphorical way, hinting at the delicacy and frailness of domesticity” (Bright p. 110).
Bright, S. (2011) Art Photography Now (2nd edition). London: Thames & Hudson
Farstad, Julie Laura Letinsky [online] Mouth to Mouth. Available at: http://www.mouthtomouthmag.com/letinsky.html [Accessed 23 June, 2017]
Sholis, Brian. (2013) Interview with Laura Letinsky [online]. Aperture. Available from: http://www.aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky/ [Accessed 23 June, 2017]