Iconic Photographs (NSFW)

Baphomet, or "The Uncaged Nature", by Gonzalo Bénard

Baphomet, or “The Uncaged Nature”, by Gonzalo Bénard

All of us photographers and art-photographers have a photograph that somehow became iconic, probably the one that most define our work or the one that created more impact in our audience, clients, etc. Sometimes is not even our preferred one, or the most meaningful to us authors, but it was the one or ones that hit the viewer more than any other.

No matter if you have only couple years as photographer or you’re the most experienced one in the planet. We all have that iconic photograph that will haunt us wherever we go. The most desirable photograph by the viewers.

And the viewers are the public who can be clients or art lovers. They are the judges, the best jury of our work. Not us.

Stoned Hand, by ©GBénard

Stoned Hand, by ©GBénard

The image above is probably my most iconic photograph:
The original Artist’s Proof of this photograph “Stoned Hand”, is exhibited in a private collection on a wall between an oil (a self portrait) by Egon Schiele, a painted drawing over paper by Jean Cocteau and an oil of a ballet dancer by Edgar Degas.

Sometimes we’re quite proud of a photograph, maybe because we got emotional bound to it, but that one is not the one that define us. Maybe not even the one with which we made the main statement of our whole work.

The Iconic Photograph is the one that got the best critics from the public. The most accepted: maybe due to the context, concept, light, composition or creativity. The uniqueness of the photograph, which made it the most interesting one.

One of my photographs from the Oneness series became one of my most iconic ones… and to be honest it took me sometime to even like it. It took me sometime to understand why. But sometimes we don’t even understand, once due to the artist blindness we will always feel different from our viewers (and that’s why is so important to have the portfolio reviewed by other photographers).

We can have those links that no one else knows. But this photograph ended up being cover of the book Oneness representing the whole series:

Horned, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Horned, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Iconic Photographs from the Oneness series:

Smoking Mirror, by ©GonzaloBénard

Smoking Mirror, by ©GonzaloBénard

Extra Breasts, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Extra Breasts, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Iconic Photograph from the Silent Skins series:

(However, Sir Elton John aquired different ones for his contemporary photography private collection.)

BodyScape #1 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

BodyScape #1 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Iconic Photograph from the Moi, le Beau et la Bête series:

LBLB #1 for "Moi, Le Beau et la Bête" by ©Gonzalo Bénard

LBLB #1 for “Moi, Le Beau et la Bête” by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Iconic Photograph from the Conversations Around the Table series:
(also cover for the Tragic Machine, by Neurotic Mass Movement)

Conversations Around the Table #19, 2012, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Conversations Around the Table #19, 2012, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Iconic Photograph from the B Shot by a Stranger 2012 series:

AD1 for "B Shot by a Stranger" by ©GBénard

AD1 for “B Shot by a Stranger” by ©GBénard

The Iconic Photograph from the Portrait series:

portrait of HH, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

portrait of HH, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Is your most Iconic Photograph the one you like the most?

Related essays you should read:
Open for Discussion
Portfolio Reviews
Why Sponsoring?

The Conspiracy of the Triangle
Flip the Compo!
Creativity. The Immediate Long Term.
What Makes a Good Photograph? (part I)
What Makes a Good Photograph? (part II)
The Conspiracy of the Brain

text by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
April, 2013
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