Francesco Sambo

Developing the theme of creating a bond between humans and animals, Francesco Sambo creates fantastical pieces featuring hybrids between people and a variety of animals, causing the audience to question their ties with familiar species as opposed to seeing them as altogether different from us. His use of nude models is indicative of nature, and creates a direct reference to how close we are to animals. This is further induced by using body language that directly correlates with the expressions captured in his animal subjects, offering a distinct link between our own instincts and reactions with theirs.

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Despite not being typical within the field of pet portraiture, Sambo has created pieces that form strong connections between man and beast, and cause the audience to think. I feel that this impact can be replicated within pet portraiture in an abstract way, featuring owner and pet within one outcome that demonstrates a bond, and therefore connection.

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Francesco Sambo Influenced Experiment

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As a subtle interpretation of Sambo’s work, I added donkey ears to a female model, using Photoshop. This was achieved using the Magnetic Lasso Tool to carefully select each ear individually, copying and pasting it onto my background image at an appropriate scale, and then using the Marquee tool to softly feather the base of the ear into the model’s hair, as well as softening the edges of the ears to give them a natural, fluffy look.

I feel that this response made a relative link to Francesco’s work, however the link of pet and owner is not clearly definable. Therefore, I feel that this experiment is conceptually a failure, despite being of skilled competence. As a result, I would not return to using this concept in future when creating a pet portrait themed shoot, however the techniques used in Photoshop were beneficial and may be useful for future work, including lifting a subject from one photo and placing it on an artificial background.

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