Monday, January 08, 2007

Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932). When I first discovered a Karl Blossfeldt image I saw something I wanted to emulate in my own botanical work. Blossfeldt didn't consider himself a photographer. He taught art, and he collected plants. He made rather crude images of plants that he collected in order to use them as illustrations of design in nature for his students. His closeups of common plants, seed pods, flowers beautifully illustrate the architectural elements in biological forms. It is this scientific and academic approach to the subject that makes me admire them so much more then the flower images of Georgia O'Keefe. I read a quote by O'Keefe that she painted flowers because 'their cheaper then models and they don't move.", Blossfeldt photographed flowers because he saw something monumental in common flowers and "weeds". As I understand he was drawn to the vulgur (as in common) rather then the rare and unusual. Here is a portrait of the man himself, an example of his work, and my own crude attempt to emulate his technique.

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