In this section of sequences Blumenfeld makes a complete departure from the commercial worlds of television advertising and magazine photography. He uses the time-based nature of motion image to revisit several of the formal, technical devices present in his most celebrated abstract photography of the 1930s and 40s and to document the construction of some of his most complex images. Clips 34, 35, 36 and 37 demonstrate his famous, overlapping coloured light techniques and his use of projected imagery to illuminate a model’s face and body. The ‘reveal’ is a key theme that runs across most of Blumenfeld’s film work, particularly in 38, 39 and 40 where the kaleidoscopic mirrors are gradually tilted to finally identify the whole faces of the women whose lipsticked mouths lasciviously begin the sequence. Mirrors are featured for formal purposes, to create an interesting visual backdrop in sequences 38, 39 and 40, and also as props to alter perspective and form in clip 41, a beautiful portrait study akin to the distorted nude portraits of Bill Brandt. Similarly, references to Avant-Garde art were made in Blumenfeld’s tests with the fluted glass in sequences 42, 43, 44 and 45; a direct reference to his own ‘Fluted Glass’ photograph of 1946. Dividing up the body and particularly the face into vertical strips behind the screen, the fluted glass reduces the form into Cubist facets, obscuring its recognisable structure and rendering it into abstract pattern, as in his multiple-profile projections of 35 and 36. The focus on the hands, which further complicate the physiognomy in 43 and 45, is echoed by the wedding hands shot 46, which, in the context of this ‘Experiments in Advertising project, also acts as a link to the beauty-centred clips in the Surrealism & Process edit.
I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS OF THIS VIDEO OR THE TEXT THAT DESCRIBES IT, JUST WANTED TO SPREAD AND SHARE THE BEAUTY OF BLUMENFELD'S WORK.