David Jubert Graphistolage – improbable (2011)
What first caught my attention was the splash of what I always call acid green but is probably better termed: pistachio.
It’s one of my favorite colors–commanding visual attention and reminscent of the prevailing color during the second third of Mark Romanek’s brilliantly executed music video for nine inch nails’ The Perfect Drug.
Next, I wondered how a picture from the Montparnasse stop on the Paris Metro ended up on my dashboard since I’m hardly a railfan.
Yes, I confess a vague fondness for trains–especially trains that serve in citywide subterranean mass transit systems. I can’t explain this fondness more than to explain that my ex always insisted that the NYC Subway was ‘magic’.
Maybe not be true magic but there is certainly something magical about descending and depending on the time of day and line, a train pulls into the station. The doors open–people step out, people step in. The doors close. The train follows the tracks and spirits you uptown, downtown, crosstown.
It took me awhile for me to see the nude on the opposite platform visible between the two train cars.
There was something about having my persistent gaze rewarded that appealed to me–at least initially.
With subsequent consideration, I am less impressed.
I do appreciate the rupture this represents with most of Graphistolage’s work. His draughtsman-esque insistence on symmetry and super saturated color–both of which I find cloying, at best–are absent.
The trouble is his approach does not adapt to the situation in which he finds himself. The effort to emphasize symmetry is cursory at best–the camera is not level as well as being panned slightly left.
Further, the figure bisected by the right frame edge fails to completely balance the asymmetry of the man on the left exiting the car through the open door.
Ultimately, the technical shortcomings serve as an elaborate distraction from the one great blight of the image: once you see the naked woman the image offers the viewer no assistance in unraveling the question of why she is standing there so improbably framed.