Claire Lehmann, Painter’s Hand, Patron’s Hand, 2017–18, oil on canvas on panel, 31 × 23 cm.
This is an image of two still hands with a circular light refraction cast onto the surface in their background. It was taken on an iPhone camera. The photo is a response and photographic representation of Claire Lehmann’s oil painting Painter’s Hand, Patron’s Hand. The photographed hands belong to an artist and a client who modelled for me in my house against a blank wall. The hand on the left is one of an artist who tattooed the line-work on the hand on the right. The tattoo on the right hand was a commissioned piece of artwork which signifies that the person wearing the tattoo is the patron. In the painting, this is signified as the right hand by its ruby ring.
The light refraction was created by shining a phone light through a glass bowl, producing a round orb onto a blank surface similar to the orb of light behind the hands in the oil painting. The first trial of this photo experiment included taking three separate images: left hand, right hand, and light refraction. The product of the first trial was more favourable in terms of image quality and composition, however it required digital manipulation and photo editing, including the process of layering three separate images onto one another to achieve the desired representation of the artwork. The second series of photos included all three components in one single shot. This was a difficult feat as the two subjects’ bodies could not be positioned next to one another comfortably in a way to accurately model their hands truest to the hands in the painting. Other obstacles included the shadows of the subject’s bodies and my own shadow getting in the way while trying to capture the shot. In order to mitigate casting my own shadow onto the framework I had to take the shot from further away. This choice resulted in a reduced image quality.I opted to present the image from my first trial. My process was inspired by Eduardo Cadava’s essay “Reflections” which contemplates perception and refractions of light.