Fascinated by the thousands of old photographs on glass plates from the Costica Acsinte Archive, Australian artist Jane Long has created more imaginatively surreal compositions by digitally restoring, colorizing, and manipulating black-and-white photos captured over 50 years ago.
In her words: “I wanted to bring them to life. But more than that, I wanted to give them a story.”
By adding color and fanciful elements to each glass-plate photo, Long creates a whimsical fusion of past and present. Without altering the original subjects too much, she transplants them to wacky worlds that often contrast the stiff, stately appearance of each individual, opening up the images to whole new realms of possibility.
Although the series has been the source of controversy, with some people suggesting that it’s disrespectful for the artist to use the images of people she doesn’t know, Long stands behind her work. “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images,” she said. “I wanted to change the context of the images. Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”
(via My Modern Met)