photography, U of Wisconsin, Madison

Alex Michalowski





Alex Michalowski
Art 476: Intermediate Photography
Digital Prints; 8″ x 10″

I am working to decontextualize humans through the subjectivity of names.
The quotes and names are found graffiti which were written on the wall by the named person. The image of the full face shows the name and the zoomed in image is the quote that person left on the wall. It is important to note that the model’s names are NOT the ones depicted but rather I wish to highlight how names are purely subjective and we, as humans, tend to always take them at face value despite how much someone’s name may truly mean.

10 thoughts on “Alex Michalowski”

  1. The concept is interesting, and I could understand the idea behind the photos once I read the description. I think the idea of handwriting in this is interesting. It ties into the idea that each person has their own handwriting, and how becomes part of someones identity.

  2. I really enjoy this series because it focuses on the hands and the face of the person, which is really important in communication. I also love the all white background because it keeps the viewer’s focus on the subject, which makes the quotations even more powerful.

  3. Alex, I really appreciate you including the images with the male subject. I have not seen that yet in class, and I think it really adds depth to your series. It also takes away that “tumblr look” from the series as well since male subjects are usually not associated with this style of work. I’d be interested to see you pair a male subject with a female name, and vice versa!

  4. I think your concept for these is awesome. I think the way you did the two images of a person with the dual context of the quote and the signature. You did a great job of fitting the text into the images as well.

  5. I love how raw these feel. There is no obvious editing, which compliments the idea of de-contextualizing the text with the image. You would never know the subject did not actually hold the name.

  6. Wow, these pictures are amazing, and so is the concept behind this! I really love how you combined the person’s quotes that they wrote on the wall with their picture, and how you added their names as well to the more zoomed out pictures of the people. I think you were really successful in highlighting how names are purely subjective and we tend to always take them at face value. Keep up the good work!

  7. I was a bit confused by the description of this project but I’m thinking that that is somewhat linked to the point you’re trying to get at- the suggestiveness of image and text and how when combined they inherently become inextricably linked? However, I’m not sure the non-correlating information cancels out the relevance of a name or even the person in the image’s relationship to the text/name next to them. It is an interesting idea but your biggest hurdle is how to convey the the right parts of it clearly. I am not really focused on the intangibility of names but rather the relationship of the image and the text. It seems most people, without the context of your explanation will read these at face value, and see it simply a portrait with the persons name and their quotation.

  8. I really like what you’re doing! Names are just names yet we give them so much meaning! I also really like that you’ve decided to incorporate more male subjects into your work. The only recommendation i would make is to consider adding one or two more elements to your photo. The white background adds so much potential!

  9. I really love this idea. The subjectivity of names is something I’ve never really thought about, but it’s so true. From looking at these photos, we have no idea what these models names are. They very well could be whats scrawled on the wall, but how would we ever know? Love the concept, this is awesome.

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