Girl With a Pearl Earring (#57) 8-8-12

At least once each week, I endeavor to provide a post with something other than one of my images, but still germane to street portraiture. Today’s post will include a TED lecture. If you are not familiar with the TED (ideas worth spreading) lectures, they are incredibly inspirational; the home page is HERE.

The images that I have been creating have little to do with classic art, with little consideration to line or spaces. The faces are narrative; they (I hope) tell a story. And, I don’t have to interpret the story. You, the viewer does.

In 1955, an enormous exhibit of photographs was displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City. The Family of Man was assembled by the curator, Edward Steichen: 503 images taken by 273 photographers, in 68 countries. In a prologue to the exhibit, Carl Sandberg wrote, “Often the faces speak what words can never say”. Each face has a story, and I would like to keep looking for it.

Author Tracy Chevalier gave a TED lecture called “Finding the Story Inside the Painting”. Finding the story inside a painting, or inside a photograph – what’s the difference? One of her examples is a portrait by Johannes Vermeer, called “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

     (click to enlarge)

Chevalier leads the audience through her logic in interpreting the story of the image. So enthralled was she with the story, that she wrote a novel by the same name. The protagonist is the “Girl”, written in the first person. I read it – quite interesting. She was inspired by the portrait to write a book. And I am inspired to realize that the facial gesture in a portrait, painting or photograph, has the power to unleash the creative potential of great artists.

Tracy Chevalier’s TED lecture can be seen HERE. It runs about 15 minutes. If you don’t have time now, please click the link and bookmark it for later viewing.

Time to hit the streets and get some more portraits!