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The Exhibition “The Arlen Ness Photographic Exhibition” Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Nov 7th, 2021

Photography is absolutely different world where things are different from what people percept in their life. Watching the landscape in reality and the same view on the photo (if shoot by the professional), the viewer may not notice the difference as the professional photographer, the artist tries to make his/her photos so realistic and inconceivable that it could be mixed up with the natural. The aims of the photography are absolutely different and different artists see different destinations of their photos. To be specific, it is crucial to consider the photography exhibition by Michael Lichter and state the aim and the main concept of his photos.

Having visited the exhibition “The Arlen Ness Photographic Exhibition” by Michael Lichter in Sebel Heritage Hotel, Yarra Valley, Heritage Ave, Chirnside Park, a lot of new information became familiar for me. The exhibition takes place from the 5th till 13th of September, 2000, so a lot of people may visit the exhibition and to learn more about Arlen Ness and the sphere he devoted his life to. Starting with the personal impressions from the exhibition, it is significant that never heard about Arlen Ness, the inner world of this person was showed only by the photos. Michael Lichter managed to stamp Arlen Ness in such a way that it seems that the person is so familiar and recognizable to you.

Arlen Ness is the world known motorcycle customizer. Motorbikes are the main idea of his life and the photos are devoted to his life, sphere of interest. The main subject of the photo exhibition is the motorbikes as it is understood from the name. Different types and models of motorbikes, Arlen Ness during the work and with his favorite models are the center of the exhibition. Watching the photos, it becomes understandable that motorbike is the main sense of Ness’s life. Not only Arlen Ness is introduced by Michael Lichter, but also the models of motorcycles, to show the customizer’s interests.

A lot of attention is paid to the motorbikes, which are introduced by different models on the light background. The impression of unrestricted space seems to be present on the photos. Watching the pictures where just motorbike and nothing else is seen, all the details are seen, the smallest parts which give to the impression of the incredible space the impression of the perfection of the bike. The works are contemporary as the person, who is shot, is still alive and the models of motorbikes are modern. Considering the photos, the opinion about modern motorbikes is created. A lot of models, its difference in color, structure and destination is seen from the photos. The interests of Arlen Ness may be also seen from the pictures. Michael Lichter is just a photographer, and creating the exhibition devoted to Arlen Ness, the interests of the very artist were not included in the discussion.

It is obvious, that the main aim of the exhibition is to show the scope of Arlen Ness’s interests. The main message of the photos is to make people know about the person who is interested in the motorbikes most of all, to show people that such huge and disproportional things may be beautiful and tender. Watching photos it is impossible to say that there machines are ride by the dust of streets, it seems that such machines are created with the aim to be shot and shown on the exhibitions. So, the main message of the photographic exhibition may be to show people the beauty of motorbike and the person who devoted all his life to them.

As it was already mentioned for several time, the photographer made the main stress on the motorbikes. The center of the picture is the motorbike which is introduced on the light background. Some pictures, which introduce Arlen Ness, do not make him the center of the composition of the photo. It may be concluded, that no matter what is present on the photo, the attention is put to the motorbikes, through which the artist, Michael Lichter, tired to depart to people the main interest of Arlen Ness.

Paying attention to the color, it may be said that the whole exhibition is abound of the colors, but at the same time the separate photos are monochromatic or in two colors. Such disbalance is achieved by the monochromatic or in two colored bikes, but the amount of colors, which are shown on different pictures, is great. The bikes are of different colors and the colors are bright and striking attention. Watching the photos, it is impossible to back away as the colors make the person hypnotized, and in the combination of such machines it seems more incredible that such huge size may be of great interest because of bright and merry colors.

Considering the other photos by Michael Lichter, it is crucial to mention that the interest in different machines, and especially motorbikes was present as a lot of photographs are maid in the this direction. The speed and movement on the photos is the other issue which is underlines the scope of interest of his photos. Watching Michael Lichter’s photos, it is impossible to deny that all his pictures are made with the same compositional aspect. The artist does not pay attention to the details, the attention is paid by the only object, which is the crucial on his photos. Nothing extra, just the object, which wanted to be shown by artist, is present, nothing more.

So, “The Arlen Ness Photographic Exhibition” by Michael Lichter in Sebel Heritage Hotel is the presentation which shows the inner world and interests of Arlen Ness. Moreover, the exhibition shows the artist’s interest in motorbikes. The compositional aspect of the Michael Lichter is followed during all of the photos. They are provided according to one and the same conception, when the main object is in the center and no extra details are shot with the aim not to prevent the whole perception from the photos. Moreover, the monochromic color also does not sputter the viewer’s attention.

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