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Elizabeth Opalenik, Reflecting on the Edge


For 35 years I have been drawn to photographing the human form in water or through reflections to reveal the complexity found within a subject.  Like many things in life, one must learn how to see what isn’t there, to know how to see it and then return at a different level.

In the series, “Reflecting on the Edge”,  I use the transformative qualities of water to compose the images through the lens. Using a model, light, fabric and the uncanny play of reflecting light, I find visions of ethereal figures in a realm of layered, painterly color.  I am inspired by the colorful patterns reminiscent of Gustav Klimt or the robust figures of Fernando Botero. Through this work I have found a bridge between painting and photography, further accentuated by printing the images on handmade Japanese paper.

This altering effect of the light and water encourage me to look deep into the pool as reality is transformed into a world of haunting distortions and beautifully skewed perspectives.  You do not see the world as it is—you see the world as who you are.  The job of an artist is to interpret what she sees and feels.

Elizabeth Opalenik 2017

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