photographs by jordan hefler
I am very drawn to New Orleans: the town, the culture, the history, the music, the food, the architecture, and the people. After doing some research on the images of the city that were so iconic to me, there were two artists that I chose to influence my decisions for this project: Diane Millsap and James Michalopoulos. I chose to blend my favorite parts of each artist’s work together in hopes to create a fusion that would be unique, and hopefully speak of my own style.
Diane Millsap's paintings convey a sort of mysterious and surreal image of New Orleans. Essentially, it was this outsider’s point of view that I most responded to, because she illustrates the same type of enchantment that I feel when I visit the city. James Michalopoulos is a household name in the city. His paintings of the city are very skewed. It is this distorted interpretation that kept me looking at more and more of his work, and then eventually deciding to edit my photographs in this fashion to enhance this aspect. With the boldness and saturation of Millsap’s work, and the distorted, skewed perspective of Michalopoulos’s, I engineered my own type of style with my editing decisions.
I ventured to New Orleans a total of three different times to shoot: Because both artists had paintings from all areas of the city, I wanted to make sure that I had opportunities to photograph all areas of the city as well. It is true that I wanted my photographs to represent the pictorial nature of the city, but I could not ignore the fact that part of what makes this place so attractive to me is the people that inhabit it. Therefore, I tried to incorporate people into my pictures in an environmental way.
What I most strived for in this final project is just that; I really wanted my prints to give the viewer a feeling of soulfulness and richness.