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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shae DeTar- Artist of the Month- April

This month I want to focus on the photography of Shae DeTar, specifically her painted photography. This series is just as it sounds, photography that has been painted on. I feel like many have attempted this with varying results, but the result of Shae's blending of these two mediums is original, seamless, and exquisite.

Shae DeTar

What Ms. DeTar has done with the application of paint on the images creates a product that appears to be timeless. So timeless, in fact, that the result is reminiscent of a time before color photography was even an option and people just colorized their black and white photographs after developing them. Shae uses a watercolor-like wash in most of the images but with that there are pops of more deliberate shapes and vivid colors.

Shae DeTar

The above image is one that stands out in my mind when I think about this series. This is because I'm reminded of a short video I saw once upon a time while researching early film experiments. In 1900, the Lumiere Brothers produced The Serpentine Dance, which is a hand-colored film of dancers who use the dresses they're wearing as tools to create the illusion of dancing butterflies. It's a mesmerizing video to begin with, because of the dancers' fluid movements, but with the evolving color added in post it becomes quite hypnotic. In this particular photograph, Shae's use of a muted color palette and the brushstrokes around the figures "wings" gives a sense of movement, allowing me to visualize the model dancing around like the Serpentine Ladies.

Shae DeTar

Shae DeTar

I find Shae's painted photographs to be inspiring and multifaceted. They appear to be very well thought out, from head to toe, from pre-production to post-production. This is something that Darryll especially appreciates because he knows how much time and effort it takes to see your vision through to the end. It's a way of thinking and creating that is deliberate and thorough. Beyond this, Shae is merging paint with photography, fashion with nature, and the past with the present. Her success in tying all these elements together is why we think she is defining art.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out more of Shae's work at


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