Creating an impact with art is easy when you’re dealing with strong women, according to art gallery LUMAS in Melbourne. “Whether in photographs or paintings, a strong female subject can make a piece striking, playful, regal and powerful all at once,” they say. But ‘fierce’ and ‘feminine’ are highly subjective words – and when you add ‘art’ into the mix, well, there’s likely to be a debate.
Here, LUMAS gallery share a selection of photographs and artwork featuring dynamic female characters from their vast range of limited editions, with commentary from some of the world renowned artists. From Arthur Elgort capturing a young Kate Moss supermarket shopping in her bikini, to an elegant portrayal of an African beauty crowned by a graceful egret by German artist Olaf Hajek, and more. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts below…
Indian Autumn by Lukas Dvorak
Lukas Dvorak describes his style as simple. “First and foremost, you must respect the beauty of a woman to capture it in its finest, most impressive form. The three elements of lighting, pose and facial expression must be dominated by simple, straight lines. I’m not a big fan of colour in portraits. For me, all the extra information that comes along with it seems to make photos void of emotion or character. Black and whites feel more beautiful and charismatic; they are better storytellers.”
Lindsay I by Rene & Radka
Radka cites cinema as a profound influence on the duo’s work: “You can always combine the movies and fashion together. (We are) always looking for fashion stories, so this is where our inspiration comes from.”
Her Last Call II by Stephanie Schneider
Schneider’s quirky characters appear in the Southern Californian wilderness. “What I really love about the desert is the desolation, the sense of hope for something that might or might not come. It’s easy to see our dreams projected in the desert.”
Her Last Call II © Stephanie Schneider, from $510
Camping Car by Serge Guerand
The women in Serge Guerand’s photographs are mysterious, sensual and almost melancholic. We sense a personal story – these aren’t just fashion shots, but fateful moments.
Undercover by Louis Décamps
Louis Décamps’ first love was that of architecture, he travelled the world studying and photographing it and eventually incorporating people. Décamps is a master of surreal settings and directing his characters. The photographer looks at everything with an open mind and thinks the world is overflowing with humour.
Kate Shopping by Arthur Elgort
In the mid-nineties, as Kate Moss was reaching the pinnacle of her international fame, Elgort presented a side of the model we had never seen before through a series of refreshingly light-hearted, almost humorous shots. He depicted the supermodel inside a laundrette and pushing a shopping trolley – both symbols of working class life – and in doing so, challenged the high-society flair of the fashion world.
The Great Egret by Olaf Hajek
Olaf Hajek is all about exploring relationships between his subject matter. “I love flowers, people, animals, and the relationship between these subjects,” explains Olaf. “I also love to combine different cultural aesthetics with each other. I view that almost as a kind of collage.”
Finale 2 by Erin Cone
“It’s more about the visual effect than the story content, that’s why I concentrate on the subtle placement of the subjects within the frame,” explains Erin Cone. “I intentionally create a tension between near photographic detail and my own vocabulary of visual disturbance, subverting realism. This duality is central to my work and allows the figures I paint to be both concrete and abstract – calling forth emotion without pinning the emotion down.”
ABOUT LUMAS: Launched in Berlin ten years ago, LUMAS is a worldwide gallery dedicated to making quality art more accessible for everyone and has just opened its first Australian gallery in Melbourne. With a strong focus on photographic prints, LUMAS has a wide range of limited edition pieces to suit any taste, style and budget. Art is available for purchase online as well as from the gallery.