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Hokusai's Dinner

Hokusai's Dinner

Florian W. Mueller
February 6, 2017
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Hokusai's Dinner. A little tribute to Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese artist, who created the picture "The dream of the fisherman's wife".
Photography of a staged kraken in a studio. Close up photography to show the textures and the patterns, the suction cups and the skin of these beautiful creatures.
Inspired by the work of Katsushika Hokusai, best known as author of the woodblock print series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" and "The Great Wave off Kanagawa".

I was working on a project about/with an octopus in black & white, when I got really fascinated about the structure, the patterns and the texture of the skin of that beautiful creatures. So I took a closer look, chose my 105mm macro lens to dig deeper.
The color correction was made to emphasize the look.
I came up to this project, because I admire octopuses, for me they are phantastic, elegant, intelligent and beautiful creatures, strange too.
When researching about artworks with octopuses, I came across the work "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" by japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai from 1814. It depicts a young female diver entwined sexually with an octopus.

I shot the octopus in my studio with one daylight-lamp with a diffusor, one reflector was used. Black molton in the back and put the creature on a plate that I built of old wood-panels.
I shot with a Nikon D810 and a 105mm macro lens. Parallel I took pictures on medium format film (Kodak Tri-X) with my Mamiya RB67, but that's another project. The postproduction was made in Adobe Lightroom.

Well, that's funny. The range of responses goes from "Yak!" to "Wow, that's beautiful!". But always interested, always taking a closer look. And that's what I wanted to achieve. Even the people who said "that looks distgusting", where fascinated and curious.

If anyone needs a good recipe for cooking octopus, ask me. I cooked a lot of them!

Florian W. Mueller

I am a Cologne based photographer with 15+ years experience of producing creative and inspiring photography. My work is exhibited and published internationally and received numerous awards.

In times of an endless flood of images and greed for perfection I see the necessity to look into an entirely different direction: The images is not enough, it is the abstraction and the individual view of the beholder, together they reach into and below the surface of customary patterns of conception.
In this case abstraction is focused on the reduction to certain facts, forms and objects but not as an experience of pure non-objectivity.
The imagination of the viewer supplements what is absent; what thematically is not dissolved, receives an invisible layer through the observer.”

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