Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Mural Commission - Part 2

After shooting flowers in my studio last week, I tweaked and converted my RAW shots in Adobe Lightroom, then proceeded to edit the images in Adobe Photoshop to create the mural's abstract collage files.
Anne (my wife/business partner) and I spent the whole week gathering proposals and bids from a dozen of the Manila's premier digital printers. But we still ended up using our regular large format contractor Pixografx, because no one else was able to match their quality, reliability and professionalism (a rare virtue in these parts), specifically when it involves dimensions of this size-- 4 x 6.5 feet.
We met with them yesterday, to proof and finalize the print...      
Discussing the nuances of the art-piece with imaging expert Rain Lacson...

When I was asked to do this mural and was told to come up with the art, I originally proposed doing nudes (w/ one or two models) in a surreal composition. But it was flatly rejected. The clients countered that the commissioned artwork will be prominently displayed in their dining room, so they would prefer a less controversial piece-- preferably something less upsetting to their gastronomic sensibilities.

Test printing on different papers to get the right texture and ink clarity.
During one of our meetings, the clients mentioned admiring my "Butterfly" series, which features flowers and insects. Unfortunately, most of those images were shot ten years ago with a low-resolution camera and would not work with the size of the proposed mural. So I suggested shooting new high-resolution floral images for the project without the butterflies (w/c would require field work and more time), and they happily agreed.
Anne helping me  proof for printing...

I have always admired Irving Penn's and Imogen Cunningham's beautiful studio-based flower photos, as well as Georgia O'Keeffe's stunning floral abstracts, so I am really excited that this project afforded me the opportunity to experiment freely with Floral Art. Inspired by the spirit and the wonderful images of these great artists, I went hunting for the perfect flowers to shoot. After visiting a handful of gardens and talking to a horticulturist, I decided to concentrate on Orchids. They are not only visually stunning and are native to this part of the world, their range of colors also fall within the clients' preferred palette.
After several tries, they finally get exactly what I wanted...
From the start, I envisioned creating an Abstraction (even with the nudes). When flowers got into the picture, my original vision persisted so I employed extreme macro-photography to isolate and capture minute details instead of shooting the whole plant. Georgia O'Keeffe used the same technique to maximum effect on her Abstract works.
The Pope's visit was timely to this project. As you know (previous blog entry), the public holidays afforded me the time to shoot and the luxury to experiment with my images. But more significantly, the effect of his presence on the people of this country inspired me to give the collage a highly religious/spiritual theme... the finished artwork is titled, "Trinity."   
The mural's final collage, all 'mocked-up'!

I will post a final update on this project after it has been installed in the clients' house...

--Photos and Concept Art are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

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