Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kenneth O'Halloran

Another picture which stopped me in my tracks. This photograph from Kenneth O' Halloran's "Fair Trade" series (on Irish Fairs) is a stunner! I love its Heironymous Boschian composition, its dabs of color, and the way your eye is pulled back into the ever denser concentration of horses and figures at the back of the frame.

It's atypical of the rest of the series' Sanderesque portraits, but those are pretty strong too as you'll see below.

I'm beginning to feel that the Sander to Sartorialist composed portrait is becoming almost too prevalent these days, but what's interesting is how in the hands of someone with a distinctive vision, it still has some kick. But I'd love to see O'Halloran come up with more pictures like the top one.


Anonymous said...

I like the way he plays with stereotypes; when one thinks of the Irish one thinks of red hair. Instead of shying away from this cliche he juxtaposes his red haired subjects against vibrant backgrounds. Nice...especially the girl with the freckles and orange background.

Joe Holmes said...

It's definitely worth a trip to Halloran's portfolio site to see all his images. What a terrific body of work.

And gee I hope I never burn out on the look of the "Sander to Sartorialist composed portrait." I suppose it's a testament to the sturdiness of the style that I still love to those portraits. Looking through Halloran's portraits portfolio, I see what you mean about distinctive vision. Stunning work.

Katharine said...

The girls in the polka dot dresses is a wonderful image. Brings to mind Sargent's painting of the Daughters of Edward Boit at the Boston Museum, the way each child is unique yet part of an overall composition.
Having lots of freckles myself as a kid, I can really connect with the girls with the freckles too!

Raul Bonatiu said...

Your blog is truly inspiring!!

davidikus said...

I fully subscribe to the comparison between Sander & The Sartorialist (with obvious differences: Sander looks at clothes for what they reveal about status, role whilst The Sartorialist looks at clothes for what they say about style & individuality).

I think some of the heavily posed portraits here don't really belong to the Sartorialist / Sander school: the work on light, the slightly shifted colours, the so-called technical "perfection", the depth-of-field, the stiffness of the characters is more reminiscent of later schools - (from the 1970s?) though I would be hard pressed to give names of great photographers working in that style. (Obviously, there would be some pictures from Frank Horvat in the early days that he was mixing reportage & fashion photography that would somehow have a similar aspect).

One determining technical aspect is how much work is done on the light: it is too perfect to look natural, which suggests either flash/lamps or heavy post-processing.

Thanks for introducing us to this very interesting body of work.


Louisette said...

Nice blogs and fotos, greeting from Belgium