New Orleans Museum of Art (@neworleansmuseumofart)

2 weeks ago

Many of us can name a work of art, music, or literature that provokes an emotional or even a physical reaction. This photograph by Guy Mendes has that quality, and can inspire an incredible sense of lightness and peace. The photograph is beautiful in its simplicity. The soft bend in the wrinkled sail allows us to see an otherwise invisible breeze that was too soft to raise whitecaps on the lake’s surface, but might have blown strong enough to cool one’s face on a warm afternoon at the Lakefront. Mendes rendered the three layers (water, sky, and cloth ) in the brightest of gray tones, and they stack on top of each other with very subtle changes in gradation. We know instinctively that the sailcloth is closer to us than the clouds, but the camera’s tendency to flatten space blends them cohesively on the same picture plane.⁠ ⁠ Tap the link in our bio to read the full object lesson from Brian Piper, Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator of Photography. ⁠ ⁠ Follow @nomaphotographs for more content from NOMA's renowned photography collection. ⁠ ⁠ [Guy Mendes (American, b. 1948 ), On Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, 1975, Gelatin silver print, Gift of the artist, 78.167]

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