The past two years of my growth and maturation in creative escapades have found an unwavering admiration for artistic photography, most passionately the field of fashion photography. While the categorization will evoke for most the editorial pages of Vogue, I've learned that this form of photography can encompass a greater variety of imagery that falls under the fashion definition but speaks to something deeper than the garments on a model's back.
Enter Katarina, whose sole work in the show moved me instantly upon a fleeting glance.
To me, her photography, though included in the fashion photography realm, is not so much about the clothing. The clothing is an accessory to a deeper story about identity. We see obscure female figures lakeside and we do not know anything about them; it is the fashion that reveals and simultaneously masks.
Color in the following two photographs I have selected is integral to the role of fashion in each photograph. It is a depiction of color in the face of darkness, where backdrops are dismal and daunting yet the painted human forms become beacons of light on the murky shore. There is an innocence betrayed by expression and pose that is recovered in vivid coloring. Hue has an almost savior-like quality.
It is the title of the first selection that speaks to this most: feel pure. Color is the rescuer and it returns to us a purity that otherwise may have felt lost.
The Katarina Gaj photographs speak to a more everyday approach to color in its role to transform. The gloom of our surroundings must not deter from our inner strength. Color has the ability to ensure strength, to accentuate optimism in an atmosphere that is wholly discouraging.
Even in times of hardship, we can persevere by flaunting a confidence and personality that we may not yet have a grasp on, but by identifying with it, there is hope that it reaches every part of us.
These models use color as a mechanism, because they know the truth behind its ability to empower.
Here's to Gaj and hopes that we will see much more work from her talented eye in times to come.
Photographs via Flickr
Images belong to Katarina Gaj