Louis Dazy's work

In England during the 19th century there was a consistant, albeit minor, demand for moonlight paintings. Painters such as John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 - 1893) were masters of moonlight and the eerie lighting effects that it produced. It was in part an offshoot of the great Romantic tradition which resounded round Europe in both literature and painting. In order to produce such work the artist had to be technically efficient in both architectural illustration and in the depiction of muted colours.

By the end of the 19th century, artificial lighting at night makes an appearence with Van Gogh and Manet, then, during the first half of the 20th century, the moon is replaced with neon lighting by the American artist Edward Hopper - see his 1942 ‘Nighthawks’, and other bleak nightime cafe scenes. These are a far cry from the Romanticism of the century before. Photography is never far behind painting, and occasionally anticipates it. Louis Dazy's subject matter has rich antecedents in both painting and cinema, so it is always exciting to witness an original version on this theme.

By superimposing his photos he creates personalised images, conveys a mood or subject, often both. An interest in modern architecture and its geometric shapes is the setting for some eerie lighting effects especially when the lighting is a warm orange. Only this sunset looks more like the window of a furnace set against a factory wall. Louis uses a lot of orange with his architectural photographic ‘sculptures’, which convey sunsets rather than sunrises - the former having more ochre than the lighter lemon of sunrise.

Some of his pictures can be compared with stills from films such as Blade Runner, Tron, or 2001 : A Space Odessey. Louis is inclined to concentrate on two specific colours, mixing them much as a film will. Tron's spartan colouring on its monochrome film sets keep the colours simple, single or seperate. Louis' girl looking out of a window uses this technique where the overall colour is orange. However Louis gives his photograph depth by using a thin horizontal line of a pale blue reflection above the girl's hair, giving the photo a fully 3D effect. Tron on the other hand is a 2D universe.

In Blade Runner the colour mixtures are far subtler and fluid, especially in the close-up portrait shots such as that of Rutger Hauer.  One in particular, in the latter part of the film (by which time the audience if fully aware that Rutger is a man-made replicant) portray him in a combination of metalic light blue mixed with red blood - machine and man. The man has become a 'bloodied' machine....that's what it is to be a slave. Louis frequently mixes two colours, often orange and blue, to humanize or distance, contrast or overlap, using a series of reflections to give depth or suggest sequence, such as  the photo of a man in tonal blues with numerous blue reflected highlights, the word COFFEE in bright neon orange.


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