Round Seventeen: Louise Brooks

Julie Geiser vs. Lola Dupre

In the spirit of Louise Brooks (check out Move Monday: Lulu vs. Gaga if you haven’t already) this months This vs. That is Louise gone wrong. Or perhaps, Louise gone right. Well, whatever way you look at it, poor Louise has been chopped up, moved around and put back together. Here’s two collages that use the iconic Louise Brooks as subject matter.

Julia-Geiser19

What I like about the first image (Geiser):

The image is quite strange and a little bit startling. The proportions are skewed due to the separation of her head which works to stretch the face (so we can see what is inside… rump steak by the look of it) but also highlights those amazing eyes. The eyes really become the focal feature and from them we can move further along to see the rest of her head and the flowers. The flowers are symmetrical, which sort of works (it does create a somewhat balanced image – three flowers, three pieces of Louise) but also doesn’t. Given the direction of Louise’s gaze, I think the image could be stronger if the flowers were ‘looking’ with her, or even wilting (a nod to time gone by) in that direction. These aspects would add a more sinister element – a connected woman and nature – and make for a more eerie image. I feel this would also connect stronger with the bloody meat coming through her head and move that into horror rather than potential humour (?)

Overall, quite a good image in that it is highly original and does make you notice it. But, I find the flowers almost work against the image rather than enhancing it.

lola dupre

What I like about the second image (Dupre):

What we have here is a fragmented image of Louise with slight connections to Futurism through the dynamism created. I imagine some people would see this image and assume it had been placed under some Photoshop effect that distorts it like this. But given that Dupre has made this by hand the value of the image rises dramatically. (There is something in us that equates hard work and time taken to achieve something with a higher quality product). What I like about the image is that is appears simple, but is indeed quite complex. Pieces of Louise are shooting out from her like rays of light, adding a glowing, futuristic aspect to the image. What I struggle to understand is how Durpe has exactly achieved this. The closer you look the more detailed and complex the image becomes. Not only are pieces of her moving in straight lines away from her face, but a curved and layered effect takes place a the top half of the image. Because of the natural curve in Louise’s head and hair it starts to look like pieces are weaved through each other as the grain moves in both directions. Quite a trippy piece, I could look at it for hours, and would love to see it in real life to feel the textures and really look at it up close. Dupre uses this effect on other images, so there is no specific connection to Louise. However, the time-specific black and white image combined with a time-specific art movement (Futurism) combined with the fact that it was created today is really quite cool. For some odd reason I am getting an essence of the film Metropolis (1927) – a kind of mash-up of history and the future (it is always fantastic to see what people from different times imagined as the future in various Science Fiction).

Overall, a strong image that never looses the essence of Louise and only adds a more complex understanding of time to the image. Great work.

Conclusions:

I find today’s This vs. That quite an easy choice and happily crown Lola Dupre my winner. There is something poignant in the image and keeping that stunning face (mostly) together and in true black and white seals the deal for me. Geiser makes an intriguing piece of art and had there been some more sinister elements at play I might have favoured her work. With those lacking, Dupre takes the cake.

Do you agree? Let me know which piece you would crown winner.

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