Imagine a black and white photo, taken by a famous photographer. The choice of a particular composition, with its subtle interplay of light and shade, of the moment the movement was frozen and etched on film : this is what makes or breaks a photo, what excites and interests the spectator, or not as the case may be. A true artist knows just how to combine all these different factors, how to go beyond a simple reconstitution, beyond a purely clinical representation of the subject. He or she succeeds in provoking the spectator, or better still, in causing him to think!
Moebius, photo by Francis Campiglia
Retouching the photo
Imagine that you give this photo to a comic strip artist, and that you let him give free reign to his imagination.
... Drawing : Cadelo
By contrast with the photographer who works with existing data, the comic strip artist invents all he or she needs, making the most of the imagination of previous generations of artists, not with the aim of presenting a view of the subject, but of evoking its soul. Regardless of whether the artist retouches the photo in color or in black&white, he uses his customary symbols and conventions to accentuate, or even disrupt the emotion generated by the photographer. In this way the work of art acquires a kind of new dimension.
Cutouts and depth
Paradoxically, the work of art still has only two dimensions. Imagine that we can add a third depth ; that we cut out the retouched photo and set the different pieces at varying depths, and seal the whole mounting between two sheets of glass.
The idea is not just to give depth to the picture, but, as has already been done by the photographer and the comic strip artist, to add fresh tensions and emotions. Using the cutout method, we can remodel light and shade, give a three dimensional effect, add characters, provoke dreams, and provoke new ideas.