Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tommy Posterized

I am continuing to learn Photoshop and can see that a whole lifetime could vanish into that software. I had planned to postpone going digital until I became more proficient at drawing and hands-on artistry. But the lure of Spoonflower and designing fabric was too great. Of course, my attention has been diverted. And one diversion was making an image of Tommy after the Shepard Fairey poster of Obama. This version obviously doesn't have the same amount of thought going into it. All I did for this was run a photo of Tommy through a filter that breaks the image into a few relative values. I then used roughly the same palette of colors as the Obama poster.

There is currently a lawsuit about transforming the 2006 Garcia (AP) photo of Obama into the iconic poster. I thought a lot of the poster's power was in the use of color...not quite red, white and blue. But the experiment with Tommy suggests that a lot of it has to do with the original lighting in the photograph. And although I like how the lighting falls in the original photo of Tommy, it doesn't really work in the posterized image. So now I think the power of the poster was in the choice of photo for this technique. Which makes the lawsuit all the more interesting because the power in the choice of photo comes into play only in hindsight.

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