Oles RomanyukTitle Unknown (2014)

This is a wonderful reminder that making great work sometimes demands saying: ideal, schmideal.

For example: this is probably a stop and a half overexposed and shifts her skin tone so that it echos the wall’s magenta.

Her body is emphasized; yet, unlike a lesser image, emphasis does not entail isolation–the wood paneled whatever at the left frame edge, the balloons and the pistachio green blanket all jump up off the picture plane. With the subtle bokeh, a convincing dimensionality manifests.

No matter how killer the colors or compelling the presentation of space, what gets me is the way the image focuses my attention on the feelings this work illicit.

I have a very strong sense that this young woman belongs here–this is her space.

The feeling is something that while I am sure there regardless; but without the nudge, I likely wouldn’t have paused with it long enough to tease out how to articulate it.

I think that is crucial, actually; given the young woman’s posture/expression–crossed arms, head tilted slightly, eye contact–she appears a little uncomfortable.

If she were separate from her surroundings, her discomfort would entail all sort of unsettling implications given her nudity.

Her belonging in this space colors the discomfort with a playfulness. As if the photographer–who is also her lover–begs her to pose nude and despite lingering misgivings, she agrees.

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