Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jesusa Vargas reviews Magda Kuca

Grandmothers by Magda Kuca

I’m trying to make a point using today’s artistic language—alongside old processes—as a way to extend the borders of the photographic medium.
—Magda Kuca

Wet plate collodion processes requires photographic material to be processed within a span of 15minutes, this process would require a portable darkroom to be used. The process dates back to 1851.

Magda was born in Skarzysko-Kamienna and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arts in Poznan, Poland. Her photographic approach, combining contemporary contexts with historical processes, makes her images interesting because of the process it undergoes and the striking compositions she creates. 

In this series, Magda’s focus was on Slavic rituals, how people co-exist with nature and rhythms. She uses her grandmother as the subject as well as her cultural heritage to convey an artistic perspective of past traditions. 

In the first two photographs, the darks tones grab my attention. There is a sense of mystery and a creepiness to the image. In comparison, the third image lacks the dark contrast and creates a flat image that seems over exposed slightly and, in my opinion, does not hold my attention and interest. It does not draw me in closer for further inspection as much the previous two. I think the images could benefit from darker shadows that will create a dimensional feel to the portrait.

However, Magda's photographic series has striking appeal overall and worth the time to review. Her website holds her collection of photographs using various other processes and photographs in bold colors representing Magda's culture and influences. 

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