Waiting Characters

Artist Blog by Ariana Żukowski

Waiting Characters is a set capturing what it felt like to be in Italy, observing the relaxed pace of life. While in Rome and Naples, I enjoyed witnessing the details of patterned fabric, silver accent rings, peeks of inked skin, cliff jumps in sharp Mediterranean bays, relics of empire, and the impact of time on various materials. Framing moments of ease through gestures, strangers become sculptures of in-between moments. The use of subtle gestures is a motif that deeply fascinates me.

A few photographers that use such details have had a considerable impact on my work. In Dorothea Lange's book "Day Sleeper," curated by Sam Contis, details of hands and faces are sequenced in a contemporary method, showcasing the quality of life for laborers and city dwellers during the 1930s in an empathetic light. In contrast, Elliot Erwitt's "Handbook" humorously focuses on the vast spectrum of emotions conveyed with hands only. Jumping to modern photography, Jack Davison's book "Photographs," includes gestures in a tightly cropped format, eliminating contextual details. His method of rephotographing printed images further decontextualizes his photos and enables viewers to appreciate the beauty of the human form through layered compositions and textures. These works show the familiar quality of human expression over the years.

Supported by our main online partner