I have written here in the past about the composition from the iconic James McNeill Whistler painting Arrangement in Grey and Black— better known as Whistler’s Mother. It’s a beautiful, solidly structured composition that works as a wonderful template for creating a solid visual image of any subject.
Several years, ago, contemporary photographer Aline Smithson used Whistler’s image as the basis for a series of photos that she called Arrangement in Green and Black: Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother. Inspired by a print of Whistler’s painting that she found at a rummage sale and using her then 85 year-old mother (an obviously loving and patient woman who unfortunately passed away before seeing the finished series) as the subject, Smithson created 20 images with varied takes on the famous composition.
They are quietly comical individually and as a group. I just find them interesting. Below are some of my favorites.
For more on Aline Smithson’s work, please follow this link to her website where you will find many more portfolios featuring her distinct eye for observation. She also has a current exhibit, Aline Smithson: Self & Others, at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massacusetts. It closes May 1 so if you’re in the area, don’t waste any time in getting to the museum.