Elena Fortunati

Elena Fortunati is an Italian photographer living in Rome, she is studying art history and uses her photography to translate her creative thoughts into reality. To do this she uses lots of different mediums such as pencils, scanning, her camera and old photos. Elena's work has a very surreal vibe in the way she is very much inspired by the artificial in our everyday lives which she gets inspiration through her surroundings, observing other people and the day to day interactions in our everyday lives. 

Elena Fortunati says her work is very much inspired by works from surreal artist Magritte who's work was very much focused on composition and conveying a message which was both witty and thought provoking. Elena translates these ideas into her own work through using framing and composition in a very clever way to create a very minimal aesthetic to her work. In many of her piece's the subject's faces are either covered or they are facing backwards, this draws the viewer's focus away from any distracting detail's on the subject's face or their expression and makes us focus more on what the figure personifies in the image, and to look for a deeper meaning. 

The photo above demonstrates how Fortunati takes a lot of inspiration from seaside photos from the 50's, where subjects would be photographed from behind to focus on the landscape in front of them. I really like this style of photography as it has a really retro vibe to it and I love the contrast of people against such a beautiful background. Pastel blue shades feature in a lot of Fortunati's photos which give a real feel of serenity and a sense of well being to the images. I really her wide use of the colour blue especially in the photo above which provides a real fresh and chilled out aesthetic to the photograph. Symmetry is also very powerful in the photo above and in many of Fortunati's photos which really adds to the composition of the photo and really adds a surreal sense of control and balance, which I think is quite a witty thing to do especially in front of more manic surrounds like the sea. I really love the photo above, the way the woman holds her hat down looking like she is taking the view in like we are and also just the minimal look to this image which really removes the unnecessary and lets us focus in on this simple but beautiful view. 

A series of photos from Fortunati that caught my eye comes from a project of hers entitled FENSTER, which explores the relationship between old and modern photography. To do this she selected old photos as a background and on her Mac computer put photos of herself over the top through using the Preview application. The photos of herself on top are all pale in colour, her face is covered in all of the photos and she always seems to be struggling in some way in the photographs. For me this takes more attention off of her appearance and gives a real mood from her body in relation to the image underneath. The photo on the top right is my favourite which shows underneath a photo of some women trying to get a glimpse of the queen through their compact mirrors. Fortunati's photo of herself on top shows her concealing her eyes with her T-shirt as if she does not want to be looked at. I find this quite humorous because to me it seems like a comment on her own sense of vanity which I find quite relatable. 

Fortunati's FENSTER project has inspired me to try this image making technique myself, however building on some of the themes from my collage work I worked with vintage images and screenshots from some of my favourite films.

Overall I am fairly happy with what I've produced and really like this form of image making which adds a more crisp effect to creating a collage. After looking at Fortnati's work I want to try taking my own photographs using some of the elements that Fortunati makes use of in her work such as surrealism, composition and minimalism. 

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