Art direction was the topic of today’s class, and we began by examining what exactly the term means. Art direction, in the context of photography, is how a creative concept or idea is applied and communicated visually in an image.
I feel that art direction and concept can be a difficult thing to get right. The meaning and ideas an image can conjure are often open to the viewers interpretation. Items of clothing, make-up styles, props and settings can trigger different feelings and emotions for different people and so a strong sense of art direction is important, especially if the concept creator wishes for their point of view to be seen as it was intended to be.
We looked at Cindy Sherman’s ‘untitled film stills’ as well as interviews with Paolo Roversi (about his particular style and series ‘Nudi‘) and Gregory Crewdson, who constructs elaborate melancholic scenes of American suburbia, like in his series ‘Beneath the Roses‘. I’m a big fan of Gregory Crewdson’s work and find the fact that he often creates an entire scene, much like a film set, particularly impressive. His use of lighting is often key to his art direction and is crucial to the eerie ambiance apparent in his images. Another photographer who uses light to create similar suburban scenes is Philip Lorca diCorcia – a photographer who I am looking at in respect to my final project for this module.