19 July de 2010Blipoint is an online community that brings together photographers and illustrators from over 85 countries. In its aim to provide a free platform for creatives to promote their work and connect with their peers, it runs a series of themed competitions in which users vote for their favourite entries submitted by fellow Blipoint members. The top 15 photos then make the transition from virtual to real worlds when Blipoint hosts its own show in a partner gallery.
The first of these contests, entitled ‘Identity Factory’, is on show at the Espacio A Rojo gallery in Cordoba, Spain from 3rd June 2009 to 31st July 2009. Submissions were remarkably varied yet also revealed the impressive breadth of talent within the Blipoint network.
Alberto Giron Castillo from Spain’s submission won the most votes; it’s a darkly introspective image full of solitude, angst and hopelessness that evokes largely negative emotions as we absorb its full meaning. This is a story of painful memories, interior battles between right and wrong and life-changing decisions that mean renouncing elements of our identity for ever.
Meridith Kohut from the USA came second with a photo that forms part of a
series on Alejandra, a single mother who works as an exotic dancer in a
Venezuelan red zone for US$10 per night. Alejandra is captured
in a moment of self-reflection as she transforms from mother to dancer, from t-shirt into her hand-sewn, sequin dancing attire.
Arlette Montilla from Venezuela, came third with her playful piece entitled “From 40 to 30” that comments on the confusion between appearance and identity in contemporary society. Montilla is satirising women’s belief that they can turn back the hands of time through plastic surgery.
Cindy Munoz from Colombia combines elements of sensuality and oppression in her entry entitled “¿Libre?” (Free?). A young woman sits on the floor; knees huddled to her chest. Her soft skin is juxtaposed with the brutality of the chains around her ankles representing the world’s dogmas and the pressure to conform to society’s norms. In this light, she asks, are we only truly free in our own minds?
Victor Hugo Rivero from Chile, Strange’s fantastical black and red illustration contains a chicken head and legs mixed with a devilish human torso and menacing tail. Entitled “El Diablo soy Yo” (“I am the devil”), this is a provocative self-portrait with an allegorical message.
Lorena Morris from Colombia, treads a fine line between reportage and the absurd in her submission. A defiant young man stands in a room adorned with revolutionary slogans, drum kit by his side and a cigarette in his mouth. The counter-cultural references are easily interpretable, but the painted blue angel wings and white tunic beg further explanation.
Federica Gallone from Italy presents us with a romantic image called “Who I am”. The image reflects upon the distinction between how a man considers himself and how he is perceived by others; two very different concepts. In short, in today’s society, man’s identity is defined by others, not himself.
Ariel Arias from Cuba submission we see the reflection of a black-clad woman whose face is obscured both by the off-centre camera angle and her intricate butterfly mask. Our true identities are unknown to others, yet sometimes we may choose to allow others to see into our souls and that is when we are at our most honest and sincere.
Ivan Maksimovic of Bosnia Herzegovina’s submission poignantly draws upon the archetypal image of a solitary painter and his easel surrounded by nature. The paper is still blank, the paints unmixed; perhaps the artist is collecting his thoughts before lifting his brush, or has the sheer beauty of the landscape defeated him already?
Catalina Piedrahita in America submitted a work entitled “Fragment of Performance”. A teenage girl sits sprawled against a whitewashed wall, one arm in the air, the other contorted behind her. The image is a representation of the meeting between objective reality and human experience.
Gui Costa from España, evokes a myriad of emotions with his closely cropped picture of a small boy’s face in a favela in Brazil’s Salvador de Bahia. What is the boy looking at? Where does his gaze lead us? What dreams and disillusions already lie behind his large, bottomless brown eyes?
Roberto Gil of Venezuela has captured two identical female mannequins dressed, side-by-side, in elegant black evening dresses yet crucially, they have with no distinguishing facial features to tell them apart. This inquisitive image therefore asks us fundamental questions about human identity, who we are and what we may become in the future.
Carmen Michelena from Venezuela’s strikingly composed entry delights with its understated complexity. An image inspired by Mirón, the man’s right arm stretches behind him while his left reaches out in front, suggesting both movement and entrapment. If he is trying to flee the oppressive circle of daily routine, will he ever really escape?
Venezuela’s Don Ungaro submitted a photo called “Black with stripes” that was part of a personal project made up of two separate photos. Random emotions and expressions were captured on camera. The result is an image overflowing with energy, beauty and rage.
Franca Franchi from Venezuela submitted a powerfully feminine photo-illustration. A woman’s body fades into a mermaid-like tail at one end while her head of dark locks erupts into illustrated floral shapes at the other. As she defensively holds her hands out in front of her, do we risk disturbing this moment of intimacy if we move any closer?
( Published: 29/5/09 )