Kurt Stallaert – Journeys

Whilst I am looking at the theme of ‘Journeys’ for my animation, I thought I would look at some artists who had also looked at this theme in their work.

Kurt Stallaert is mainly a fashion photographer, who also works in advertising. When looking through his brilliant portfolio, I was amazed at the vast diversity of his work; how it is all so different, how many different themes and concepts he looks at, but how all his work shares a unity in style.

I have chosen a few of his photographs that I think correspond to the theme of Journeys.

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 23.16.17The lone surfer. Could this symbolise a spiritual journey? He gazes upon the horizon, searching for the next wave, waiting for the tide to take him where he wants to go. The ocean is seemingly flat. Will that wave ever come? And if it does, will the journey be more important than the final destination – the beach?

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 23.13.11Three kings, making the journey to meet the baby Jesus. Carrying their gifts; Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold and a Teddy Bear? We all know the stories from the bible, of the three kings making their journey, following the star to the son of God. But have we ever considered the inappropriateness of the gifts they were giving? Physically, Frankincense and Myrrh were perfumes, resins burned to create a sweet smelling smoke that would make the user smell more agreeable. But, I suppose we must look at things ‘Symbolically’ as we do with most of the stories from the bible. So, Frankincense is the symbol for a prayer rising to the heavens like smoke, and Myrrh, a symbol of death, as it was frequently used at funerals. Well i’m not sure, even symbolically, they are particularly nice for a baby. Luckily in Kurt Stallaert’s version of this event, the kings have also brought a cuddly toy.

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 23.13.34Little Red Riding Hood, making her journey through the woods, but instead of having a basket of lunch for her Grandma, she has what seems a full course dinner for one, with champagne and a few decanters of digestives. A robin sits on top the chrome plate cover, a deer looking carefully onto the scene from behind, whilst Little Red looks into the camera, with a cheeky grin. A wise owl also looks into the frame from a tree to the left and a squirrel to the right, but where is the wolf? Is it still lurking in the shadows? Will it disrupt Little Red’s journey once again? Or has the wolf already been defeated?

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