Fine Art

Bella, Pratik and Wraith by Gidi Meir Morris

This might sound cocky. Actually, who am I kidding, it is cocky, but if I can't be cocky about something I've invested myself into for 15 years then what can I be cocky about? *

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I know photoshop. Even, I might say, know it very well, and I don't believe any online courses are going to teach me anything I don't know. I've believed this for a while, and I admit its a mix of both knowing that all online courses aim for the beginner to intermediate, almost never to the advanced user and the fact that I'm being a little cocky.
But then came Pratik Naik and ruined my theory.
Pratik's course on CreativeLive caught off guard because I really wasn't expecting to learn anything from it, and about ten minutes into randomly tuning in, half way through the second day, I was already fumbling in my pocket for my credit card to buy the class. He is that good.

And so when he announced a month or so ago that he is coming to London to teach a workshop I grabbed at it (as in, subscribed to notifications on his news feed) by the coat tails and waited for registration to open. And then I went to look at Bella Kotak's portfolio.
I'd already noted Bella's name several times, as her images popped into my newsfeed and Pinterest feed from time to time, but I have to admit I never really followed her work. That was mistake number one right there.

Day #1: Bella

So I registered for the course and showed up on the day, with an slightly bored air about me, thinking I'll just watch Bella shoot some photos on the first day and then on the second day I can finally pick Pratik's brain, which is what I really wanted.
That was mistake number two right there.

The first day, in which I didn't just get to watch Bella, but under her guidance and precisely executed set of styling (dress by Kathryn Love), makeup (by Lydia Punkhurst) and modelling by Lulu Lockhart I also shot this new portrait, titled Wraith, which I'm not only extremely pleased with but also frustrated by, because I can't quite categorise it (which is why I had to change the "Wayfarer" category into "Wayfarer et al" and add it there).

The first day also reminded me of how easy it can be to just get together with some talented friends and shoot something incredible. I've been so fixated with not "wasting my money on studio rental" that I've spent more time scheming about how to execute a "perfect shoot" than actually shooting, and thats one of the reasons why 2014 has been so stagnant for me. Time to refresh everything, and Bella's example has really given me that knock on the head that I needed.
Things are now starting to move forwards again, thanks to her.

Day #2: Pratik

The next day was Retouching Day with Pratik.
I'm not quite sure what to say here other than... damn that guy knows his stuff. He really humbles me (other than that little bit of cockyness up there) and my supposed Photoshop knowledge, and he has given me some "mind fucking" tips which I'm now struggling to make a part of my regular workflow.
The problem with being experienced is that you're also set in your ways, and changing them is hard. But I'm working on it, and I believe that in the long run, Pratik's advise will really have an impact on my work.

I'll also mention that Pratik make's it his mission for his students to remain such forever and has given those few of us that attended an open invitation to call on his guidance in the future. I really respect that and think I'll take that advice with me.
I really miss my teaching days and once I get my own teaching back on track, I'll extend the same invitation that Pratik gave me, to my own students (as in, I'll tell them that if they ever have any more questions, they can ask Pratik. ;) Just kidding).

Summary

Bella and Pratik's workshop was brilliant. Period. Its clear that they are passionate about what they do. They have a purpose in life, and it radiates off of them both. They are also annoyingly genuine and sweet... which I can only be envious of. I know I have a tendency to close down in professional environments and I'd really like to try and be more like those two in that respect.

I also loved how important it is to them to create a community of professionals and artists. I have to give a shout out to my brilliant fellow students, and now friends, Leigh, Anna-Lena, Victor, and Mahesh, you are all so annoyingly talented!

* I accept the fact that you don't have to be cocky at all, but I'm still human.

'Rare Art' Exhibit and an apology by Gidi Meir Morris

I Think I owe you guys an apology.

When I relaunched my site last year I made a promise to keep this blog alive and kicking. So far it has been dead and decrepit, and thats my fault.

Over the past year I have been struggling to get my feet off the ground again. Having migrated from Sunny Tel Aviv, to Cloudy London, I have had a hard time finding my footing and getting my career running again. Photography is very much a reputation driven business which means moving countries can be very difficult, as your reputation essentially gets reset. This is even harder in a town like London which is both overrun by photographers (and artists of all sorts) and as expensive as a "world town" can be, where your savings get drained very quickly.
But these are no more than excuses.

Even though I've been able to get some nice projects off the ground during 2014 - Kalopsia, starting the Wayfarer series and getting some exposure through Wacom and Digital Arts magazine. I still feel it was mostly a year of stagnation.
And here we are in 2015, already a quarter of the way through, and very little has changed.
Its time for that hiatus to end, and to get things back on track, I am now pushing forward new projects and a reinvigoration of commercial portrait work.

Over the coming months I'll be completely refreshing my commercial portrait portfolio, already have several names lined up which we'll begin shooting in the coming weeks and this is only the beginning. Things are moving again, the break is over.

Rare Art by Exhibit Here

But commercial, as you know, if only one aspect of what I do. Fine Art, my longest running passion, plays a major role in who and what I am, and so reinvigorating my career can't be limited to commercial work.
Exhibit Here, founded by Leila Bibizadeh is an endeavour through which she curates Pop-Up Exhibitions across London. Her next exhibition will take place in the Menier Gallery in Southwark, on the 14th until the 18th of April titled 'Rare Art', and I'm glad to announce that no less than four of my large scale limited edition prints will be exhibited there.

The location of the Menier Gallery and the Rare Art exhibit

 

The exhibit of these four prints, which will include the first three mixed media pieces of the Wayfarer series- Only the WindsOnly the Breeze and Only the Chill and my photographic portrait of my Grandmother I've lost my Buspass, is very exciting to me, as its my first proper exhibit in London and its a good feeling knowing you're exhibiting work around the corner from the Tate Modern.

I'd like to give a shout out to (Makeup & Hair) artist Bella Noell, stylist Stephanie Tumba of Celest Lifestyle and the models Mélie Lemiére,  Constanza Zambrano and Lix Hewett, without whom those three images couldn't have been created. Not to mention Wacom and Digital Arts magazine for sending me a Wacom Cintiq of my own to create them on.

And of course my grandmother, whose portrait is beyond a doubt my favourite.

You're all invited to see the exhibit and though I'm not sure exactly when I'll be there, you're more than welcome to let me know when you plan to be there and I'll try and meet up with any of you for a chat and a glass of wine.

See you all soon.

London's Galatea by Gidi Meir Morris

As a child I found myself, like many other children, deeply inspired by Roman mythology, as depicted in their poetry and literature.

One of the stories which always stuck with me was one which, while many seem to remember it’s story, doesn’t seem to have actually been read by most people.

The poet Ovid’s poem called “Books of Transformations”, is a narrative poem, comprised of no less than fifteen book, laying out almost two-hundred and fifty myths, which tell the tales of the world’s creation.

One of these myths is the story of the Greek sculptor Pygmalion, who having created an exquisite ivory statue of a beautiful woman, and having found himself frustrated by the women surrounding him, fell in love with his own creation’s beauty and purity.

Knowing that his love for his statue would undoubtedly be unrequited, seeing as she was made of ivory, Pygmalion made an offering to goddess Aphrodite and asked her, quietly whispering, for her to bless him with a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”.

Aphrodite, who must have approved of Pygmalion’s wish for a beautiful and pure woman, rather than the women around him, who the myth labels “prostitutes”, grants him his wish and bring the statue to life.

The ivory statue, now a woman, was name Galatea and she joined Pygmalion in marriage, parenthood and continued worshipping of the Great Goddess.

I have long wanted to depict this story in some form or another, and surprisingly, having recently relocated to London in further the pursuit of my dreams, I found myself inspired by the city’s architecture to revisit this old myth.

My latest art series, title Monolith, is my own vision into Galatea’s transformation, from statue to woman and from women to lover.

The series is a timeline, comprised of five stages, which should be viewed from left to right.

image

Here are the stages, by order, in high quality.

Like most of my work, this series was created to a soundtrack of sorts.

Usually when delving into a piece of work I end up choosing one artist or even just one song to listen to in a loop while I work.

I have found this helps me maintain a coherent and repeated style throughout the images, as I find the music I am listening to at the time, can greatly affect the way in which I process the images.

This series was created to the tune of Young by The Paper Kites, whose music video is a piece of art in it’s own right.