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Monday, December 2, 2013

Tony Stromberg - Fierce Grace - Wild Horse Print

As with many forms of contemporary art, photography can often take on the beauty of classical paintings. They are perceived through the clarity and newness of an artist’s viewpoint. In many ways photography can be more like classical sculpture than a conventional painting, inviting the viewer to consider depth and texture while taking on an element of dimension that would have been difficult to achieve on an ordinary canvas.

By this standard, Tony Stromberg's photograph "Fierce Grace" meets the criteria of both traditional art forms. He employs objectively new techniques and applies both methods in equal measure. The picture is as much a study of the formal qualities of its subject as it is a demonstration of the capacity for black and white photography. He shows us the contrasts and depth of emotional content that are possible in newer forms of art.

The title tells the viewer much about the print itself, as it demonstrates the paradox inherent in the subject matter. Stromberg has chosen to examine the strength of the horse, which is shown in the musculature and movement of its powerful head, and also the elegance of its body's lines. He brings them out in close focus, as a line in a charcoal drawing also might. Note how the artist concentrates the camera on what is in his immediate view, with the landscape behind the subject blurring into an almost abstract picture. Here, 20th and 21st Century art meets classical proportion and line.

Like the work of Impressionists of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, talented photographers like Stromberg can reinvent the world in a familiar but slightly jarring way. In other words, a good photograph should not only document the world around us but express the emotion of the artist through the subject matter. Stromberg clearly links the past with the present in his work, reaching a formal style that stretches back centuries, while drawing on the mechanical representation of a new age.

Owning such a piece will surely warm the heart of any viewer’s eye. Why not warm your heart today?


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