Mike Dunbar Commercial Photography | Odd Pieces

183 photos
At Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen one of the photographers I studied and was lucky enough to meet is the great British artist Tom Hunter. Tom has a hugely successful career, including interpreting in the modern idiom classical works by the likes of Vermeer. Woman Reading a Possession Order is a famous piece by Tom based on Vermeer’s wonderful Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.

To digress a little, Tom told me that he studied at the Royal College of Art at the same time as Peter Townsend of The Who. Townsend is on record as saying, perhaps surprisingly, that some of his iconic songs – such as Pinball Wizard – were actually inspired by cadences evident in the work of 17th century composer Henry Purcell. Whether their works are diverse manifestations of the same concept I have not been able to establish. But I assume so.

I’m still fascinated by Tom’s images and the idea of reinterpreting classical work. This gallery in progress is inspired by the work of classical geniuses such as Dali, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Turner, Caravaggio and others. Also contemporary artists such as Joe McNally, Marco Grob and the unsung Manny Librodo jnr.

Rather than transport these images to a contemporary setting I decided to revisit them in their original style using contemporary equipment. The gallery is called Odd Pieces in acknowledgement of my cod attempts to copy masters.

This collection of pictures uses a lighting technique which has come to be known as Rembrandt lighting (also sometimes called form lighting.) Although Rembrandt refined this style of lighting (principally to increase shadow detail) it actually originated amongst the Florentine painters of Italy, and became closely associated with the rascal Caravaggio. The style was transported to Holland by the "Utrecht Caravaggisti", notably Gerrit van Honthorst, who discovered the works on a pilgrimage visit to Rome.

Some of my images can also be viewed and purchased at still life prints.

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