After a break and dealing with school starting back up, I continue listing those photographic artists who have inspired and influenced me and my own style of photography throughout the years. With this installment I focus on Caravaggio. How’s that for a curveball? Most people familiar in the world of art knows that Caravaggio wasn’t a photographer, the medium wouldn’t even exist until 3 centuries after he had passed on. Caravaggio was a painter in the Baroque period of the Renaissance. His style was similar to that of Rembrandt (probably the better known of the two) though Caravaggio and his works would find a place in the world of art before Rembrandt was even born.
Caravaggio’s style is versatile and changes, from time to time, but the dominant and signature style he has been known for is his use of shadows and light. Dark encompasses a good portion of his canvas in a lot of his works followed by explosions of vibrant colors that pop from the darkness. Bright reds and hard whites draped by shadows which gives a kind of photo realism that is all its own. Once you’ve come across a Caravaggio work you’ll be able to recognize that style because there isn’t really anything like it. As I said before, Rembrandt comes close, but as good as he was, I feel he lacks that depth and sense of drama that Caravaggio was able to convey with his style. There’s even an article saying how he could have been the first master of photography.
Caravaggio’s style is probably one of the biggest influences on me and my photographic style. I remember first seeing his work in art history class and taken aback by how beautiful his oil paintings looked based mostly on his ability to use shadows, lights and even light shades. The way his colors just shone forth from those shadows, beautiful and bold, it was probably a watershed moment for me as an artist. Anyone who’s seen my work and is familiar with his will probably see just a hint…okay, more than a hint of his influence in a lot of what I do.