Artist Study – Laura Letinsky

Laura Letinsky

Laura Letinsky is a contemporary photographer from Canada who’s speciality is still life.

When you see her work the first thing that strikes you is the colour, or more the lack of it. Huge parts of the canvas are filled with very neutral colours, mostly white which seems strange, but the vastness and emptiness of the photo hones the eye instantly onto the area of extremem colour taking only a small percentage of the frame. Due to the vista of emptiness the viewer receives the colours like a huge explosion. Which is an incredibly clever composing tool, the photographer completely controls the viewer where to look, a fantastic compositional tool. The eye hones in one the focal point then wanders briefly around the scene always returning to the point of focus. Therefore the area of colour acts almost like a full stop so the eye can continually rove and explore the photo. It’s interesting that her photos are created by breaking every compositional rule. It shows that it’s important to learn the rules and then try your own thing out. It is an intriguing exploration into negative and positive space challenging the human perception.

In an interview Letinsky said she wanted to create photos of something that had happened, like someone having eaten a meal or finished a drink. Another thing she said that stood out was who you are is told through what you own in your home. This was especially interesting. I sometimes imagine when I am in my room that it isn’t actually my house and I try and see what I can tell about the person by what they own. The same applies for when I’m waiting in the car, I study the car next to me and try and work out the character of the person by the stickers. It’s fascinating seeing this.

I also love how she takes a 3d scene and aims to keep it looking that way in camera by attaching elements to the photograph. She stated that the photo produced is all to do with the angle, if you saw her taking a photo of it you wouldn’t recognise it as the one in the photo. It’s intriguing and amazing seeing how she does this and creates photos that provoke more questions the more you ask them.

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