Inspired by the complex beauty of flowers, artist Elijah Gunn reveals their secrets through macro photography. See more of his work by visiting his website.
My art is a reflection of how I approach beauty in real life.
When I see a flower (whether it be in a grocery store or in a field) I will often stop to take a closer look at it and to photograph it. It is not enough for me to just observe its beauty from a distance because often there is more to it than meets the eye.
Here’s an example from life: I remember walking into a new class in college and seeing the most beautiful girl sitting by herself in the back. I took the opportunity one day to sit next to her in order to talk and she almost immediately opened up to me (like a flower opening to the sun).
We became the closest of friends and as it turned out, she was a rather shy person who was often avoided because of her beauty. To put her appearance into context, I once watched a guy trip over his own feet in a mall when she walked past.
I say this to express my artistic approach to creating floral pieces that move my heart. It starts with “wow, what beauty” and then moves into a relationship that is far more than skin deep.
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In the same way that there is a real person living inside of a beautiful face and body, there are textures, formations and colors that make up the whole of a flower or scene.
The process that goes into producing a final artwork can be quite lengthy; sometimes taking months and many iterations before it is complete.
The cleanup of a photo is painstaking, where every piece of pollen and blemish is removed and specular highlight enhanced at an almost pixel-by-pixel level.
Then there is the color—which is exceptionally important to me when editing—and there are several images that have been waiting for nearly a year for me to find the specific hue that both matches the image and moves me to tears.
As cliché as it may sound, it is love that starts the process and it is love that completes it; because, whatever you love the most is that which you give the most time and attention to.
Artist Elijah Gunn invites you to follow him on Instagram.
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