Archives for posts with tag: Mumbai

Not speaking to strangers is a lesson learned early and practiced often, but this fascinating ongoing photography series flies in the face of such prudence. Mumbai-based photographer Jay Weinstein attempts to break down barriers during this particularly vigilant time in world history, one smile at a time. Aptly titled “…so I asked them to smile”, this minimalist photography project explores the smiles of strangers, and how facial expressions truly transform perceptions and soften even the most hardened of appearances. Weinstein captures strangers in two different poses: one without a smile and one while smiling. See for yourself… with no other context (Weinstein does not provide life stories, names, occupations, confirmed religions or ethnicity), it’s striking to see how a simple smile can humanize a perfect stranger. Weinstein describes the genesis of this compelling sociological experiment in his own words: “December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern face intimidated me. It’s always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, “Take my picture too!” Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. ‘Smile’, I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. So I asked them to smile was born. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face.”

Via soiaskedthemtosmile.com

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Done well, photo manipulation can stop you in your tracks. Advances in software technology, particularly Photoshop, have allowed artists to explore surreal scenarios, once restricted to visions inside one’s head, like never before. The cultural and artistic movement known as surrealism began in the early 1920s, and arguably continues today to some degree, with the rise of said technological advances. One such artist engaging in making art that blurs the lines between dream and reality is Mumbai-based Anil Saxena. Saxena is particularly adept at Photoshop, and has a playful sort of style, but does not utilize his skills haphazardly. He creates thoughtful work, and is extremely detail oriented. In his own words, Saxena says “If the image is a success but my work goes unnoticed, I’m doing my job well.” We couldn’t agree more.

More current surrealist art here and here and here.

Via Behance

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