Monday, November 26, 2007
David Stuart - Master Of Keeping Fluid
David Stuart's source of inspiration for his high-concept imagery is constantly changing, and that, in turn, keeps his photography fresh
Social theorist Erich Fromm stated, “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” For David Stuart, this maxim couldn't ring more true. It's a rare gift to be able to let go of preconceptions and allow the circumstance to dictate the destination.
While drinking in Stuart's visually entrancing images, one gets the impression that this photographer spends hours on conception, composing the balance of color and symmetry in a photograph. But speak with Stuart himself, and a very different impression is formed. His blank-canvas approach to his work is not only surprising, but refreshing as well.
Stuart draws from a medley of past experience, travel, present circumstance and pure raw talent. It's hard to pinpoint one influence that shapes his style. The brightly colored images that pop from the pages of his work seem refined and stylized, but for Stuart, it was just how it happened.
“I didn't make a decision to create colorful photographs,” he says. “That's just what I did. I prefer punchy colors, but nothing too silly or too campy.”
As a world traveler and an avid scuba diver, Stuart has a penchant for bright, scintillating colors and a world that's constantly in motion. He has called both Costa Rica and Ecuador home and has recently finished his first underwater editorial project for Fortune Small Business.
Says Stuart, “The love of nature can inspire beautiful colors. I love being on the islands. The intense blue of the ocean goes with the intense sky. I'd love to do more underwater work, but it would have to be more meaningful than just shooting fish and coral. I don't like things to be too static. I'm concentrating on putting more motion and dynamism into the shots.”
Beyond the great outdoors, Stuart is constantly on the lookout for inspiration, whether it's new photographers with cutting-edge work or great classic paintings from the Baroque era. It's not surprising that his first photographic inspiration was film, however. The work of Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Tim Burton has helped to cultivate Stuart's high-concept style. And like these great masters, Stuart has the ability to develop highly imaginative characters. He takes everyday situations, adds his own unique expression and colors, and invites the viewer's imagination to create whimsical and beguiling stories.