In this installment of iPoneogenic’s Storytellers, Lene Basma shares her infulences behind a continuing series of experimental self portraits encompassing fine art traditions in digital imaging inspired by three fine artists. Lene speaks more specifically about her process in creating these wonderful and beautiful works.
Lene Besma – iPad Experimental Selfportraits:
I guess there are two lines of explanation into this particular image.
One has to do with me just having finished my PhD thesis. Waiting for the committee and their verdict, I have more time that I can devote to my image making. I have been longing to do so for a long time, thinking I need to cultivate a more distinct style, maybe even bring it so far as to make a real series…
The second has to do with three artists who work in the traditional image making field, using photoshop: Nanoo G.(www.nanoo-g.com), Oleg Dou (www.olegdou.com) and Daria Endresen (www.dariaendresen.com). I have been inspired by their images and work for a long time, and this particular image started out as an experiment, hence the title – a challenge to myself to see if it was possible to do something similar on an iDevice, and also to investigate if and in what ways, using a handheld device and not a computer, would effect the outcome.
And that was the starting point: me seeking perhaps a different palette, looking for a different way than my usual grunge-filled path, with these wonderful images in the back of my mind.
As for the subject: In lack of other subjects (we live in the countryside and I do not have access to a studio), I often work with myself, with my face in my images. Sometimes I use the self portraits in a rather therapeutic way, to express and look at how I feel, and sometimes my face becomes more like a mask, a canvas I can write on. In this case, I guess it is more of the latter.
So I started out with a black and white, straight shot of myself sitting in the car, and went on to try to transform it into a bald, mask-like figure inhabiting an anonymous space, which is characteristic for many of the works by the before mentioned artists. Using BaldBooth, MoreBeaute and Retouch I made the mask, juxtaposing it onto an image of cotton and wool I had in my iPhone archives, finishing it off in SketchClub, where I added the dissolving bits.
Then I just starting experimenting; layering and juxtaposing different pieces, drawing with various brushes in SketchClub. I started with the eye, and as the title came to me in that process – Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? -, I knew which way I was heading. I wanted to accentuate the tension between the bald, perhaps not so beautiful face, and what is established to be feminine and beautiful, so I added a flower hat and the lipstick, keeping the ambiguity by letting it drip from her lips.
After I had finished and shared the image, tipping my hat to Nanoo G., I made another one where I think I have brought more of myself into the work, based on a quote from T.S. Elliot: “So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”