Marton Perlaki and Berndnaut Smilde

Marton Perlaki

M. Perlaki. ‘Bird, Bald, Book, Bubble, Brick, Potato’. 2014-16

Marton Perlaki is a contemporary photographer from Budapest who collaborates portraiture with still life.  Marton has exhibited internationally and in 2015, his work featured in the National portrait Gallery for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.  Perlaki has also been commissioned by various magazines.

Perlaki’s works strike a sense of ambiguity as he photographs a variety of subject matter from scenic views to close up perspectives of still life or portraiture.  One thing that Perlaki is well known for is how he groups or pairs images together in which he uses random materials often with ambient or dull lighting.  Perlaki often uses his images to reference each other as a way to relate the form or an aspect of subject matter.  For example, an image of the back of a man’s head from his most recent series ‘Bird, Bald, Book, Bubble, Brick, Potato’ (2014-16) Perlaki places a cartoon image of a potato with the anonymous portrait, referencing the similarities between the form of the man’s head and the potato’s familiar shape.

Another selection of images that strikes me includes an image of the artist himself peering into a bucket of water that sits on a plinth.  Here, Perlaki addresses the need for the natural element of water and could also reference the workplace as the man wears suit trousers.  It may even reference more than one workplace as the objects in the image could suggest a reference to a construction environment.  Perlaki keeps the scene clean only using basic objects, costuming and background.

I admire how Perlaki creates quirky compositions and observes spaces of different kinds and perspectives.  He leaves the viewer hanging by having the individual interact with objects in an odd manner and I think this makes the content more thought provoking as he also photographs from awkward angles where we may be unsure of what the subject matter actually is.  This brings further interest towards how I use interaction with objects in terms of having objects observed using different methods.

Berndnaut Smilde

B, Smilde. ‘Indoor Cloud no 8’

Artist and photographer Berndnaut Smilde works with installation to create atmospheric imagery that brings question to space and its construction or deconstruction.  Smilde often presents narratives that focus on the fragility of space but also brings in subject matter that symbolises hope.  Following his studies at the Frank Mohr Institute, Smilde has become a leading figure in staged photography in which he has exhibited internationally and has been commissioned for various magazines.

One particular series that has grabbed the attention of art critics and the general art community is the ‘Nimbus’ series in which Smilde uses light, water and air to create real clouds within interior buildings.  By adjusting the temperature in the room, Smilde acts as the prefect example when using natural forms and elements as visual subject matter where we see these forms in spaces we would not normally find them.  The images are set within empty rooms in finely decorated buildings as well as abandoned buildings where the rooms are worn and old.  The images bring an eerie presence in the room surroundings and the way in which Smilde uses lighting to backlight the clouds forms evokes intensity but also curiosity.  The clouds almost act as lonely figures wondering the space as if trying to find a way in or out.

Smilde is an artist I am familiar with and I still find his photography unique as the process of creating these works are effectively inventive.  I admire how he sets the scene with no individual persons featured; Smilde creates a relationship between the space and the viewer alone.  Smilde also creates a merging relationship between the interior and exterior by breaking the rules and placing something of a worldly nature with an isolated environment.  I find this inspirational to my own creative practice as Smilde presents an intriguing and special subject that observes a life form that should exist elsewhere; this influences me to bring natural forms indoors and use these forms to an extent where the audience feels they are witnessing something from an alternate universe.


ARR Marton Perlaki (2016) ‘Bird Bald Book Bubble Brick Potato (2014-2016)‘ {Online} Available from: (Accessed 27/07/2016)

ARR Webber Represents (2016) ‘Marton Perlaki‘ {Online} Available from: (Accessed 25/07/2016)

Copyright Berndnaut Smilde (2016) ‘Works‘ {Online} Available from: (Accessed 27/07/2016)


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