Flora Borsi – Home (2015)
Generally–for me–photo manipulation is a turn-off.
It’s not that I find it inherently dishonest or anything like that–in fact, I find the conceptual implications of photo manipulation super intriguing; it’s the fact that it is so rarely attempted by someone with any real sort of well developed craft.
Although, Borsi’s Photoshop approach is almost certainly too clean and minimal for it’s own good–only an inept idiot would dispute that she’s got some goddamn mean fucking chops.
I’d be absolutely in love with this based solely on the interplay of color. (In that regard, it reminds me of Amanda Jasnowski; while avoiding Jasnowski’s tendency to favor high key lighting as a means of compressing shadow density.)
And I’m intrigued by the process. Yes, the orange heat blur is not consistent given the flames. However, there’s no way to get that completely 120% correct, so she adds just enough to sell the drama and then focuses on secondary details. (The subtle bluer around the right shoulder and the careful way the light given off by the flames cast on the body.)
But what floors me is what I see as one of the conceptual notions underlying the image: the burning vegetation recalls the shape of the lungs–and presumably having your lungs on fire is a pretty serious affliction.
Yet, with this degree of Photoshop mastery, Borsi could have made it look as if these were her lungs. She decidedly doesn’t. They appear outside the body.
And I begin to view this as a comment on how damaging it is to effectively set women on fire simply because society has sexualized female bodies.