giant

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Theo Anderson's Giant (2013) is part of the photographic series “COMPLEXITY” (displayed at DuBois Gallery, Lehigh University; rendering attached) which illustrates the state and potential of acquired Buildings B and C on Lehigh's Mountaintop Campus. This photograph is an archival digital print on Moab Entrada paper portraying a mounted pencil sharpener and the surrounding wall space. The photo is highly unsaturated with a range of warm grays. The photographic frame places the bottom left edge of the sharpener precisely at the intersection of the upper third and left-most quarter of the moderately-sized (22 inch wide by 142⁄3 inch tall) print. The subject itself occupies less than one percent of the image as a compact rounded form with a handle barely protruding to the right. Two thin discernible lines cross the picture plane vertically, marking off the right and left margins. A line formed by an abrupt change in shade, with another fine white line directly to its left, divides the photograph at its center, establishing darker and lighter halves in the composition. While there exist a few scuff marks, shadows, and a small screw on the apparently textureless wall, the competition for emphasis is generally dominated by the pencil sharpener. A small branding label affixed toward the top of the sharpener barrel draws in the viewer's focus as one of very few details to investigate more closely in this bare photograph. The label reads “Giant”, drawing a clear connection to the work's title. Yet there is more to the 2 picture than the perception of mundane imagery in a series called “Complexity” and an insignificant subject in a piece called “Giant”. The photographer's specificity and precision in capturing the scene lead to a more nuance... ... middle of paper ... ...pace as a whole leaves room for the unexpected. The significance placed on the small, intricate objects provides something to build from while the emptiness of the negative space leaves room for growth. The tonal variation and subtle light of the negative space suggests a potential free of preconception rather than a void. The emphasis on the detail of what is already there leads to the consideration of what could be there. While the clean vertical divisions, inorganic lines, and precise arrangement of objects leave the image static, it seems only momentary. The delicacy of the forms and the hinting shadows suggest a transformation to come. Even the vertical lines hold potential energy and thoughts of growth. The formal elements of this photo work together to grant the significance of a giant and the possibilities of the unknown to a small and simple subject matter.

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