Bill Gekas deserves First Prize for what must surely be the most magnificently stunning portrait photographs ever made. But the Grand Champion award? That goes to his young daughter. For her extraordinary achievement in sitting for them.
Mr. Gekas is an award winning photographer from Australia. In this visual feast of a series, he re-imagines famous paintings by various Old Masters.
I have no idea how old this adorable child with the marvelously expressive face is, other than “not very.” Which just makes her accomplishment in posing for these that much more astonishing.
The photographs are remarkable on so many levels. They reflect meticulous research and attention to detail, coupled with a judicious sensibility for identifying what is essential (and the artistic discipline to discard what isn’t). The magic result: none of the images is a copy of ANY Old Masters painting, and yet… we still “get” the reference every time.
Or rather, we think we do. The fact is, Gekas has so convincingly mastered this visual idiom, every image in the collection feels like something we remember, even though we’ve never seen it before.
The work is impressive from a technical and logistical perspective as well. Just collecting and preparing the props would be a study in perseverance. Then there are the scene recreations. The lush, perfectly colored, textured backgrounds. The absolutely gorgeous lighting.
And of course the costumes.
Pondering all the things that make these lovely photographs such a rich artistic achievement, another thought bubbles up:
It’s an image of legions of parents from every country of the world, considering these works in a solidarity of speechless amazement, all wondering, “How does he get her to do that?”
And it occurs to me that, perhaps somewhere just off the left of the frame, there might be a wrangler.