Back-Alley Noir In Belgium

The Confrontation

Sometimes it’s not a question of whether’s somebody’s gonna die. It’s only a question of who’ll die first. Like in this gorgeous bit of back-alley noir from Belgian photographer Gino DeFauw, called “The Confrontation”. Look for more of DeFauw’s work at 500px.

 

Your deal…

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I learned the hard way back in high school that poker and I would never get along. Suckered into card games during college, and I still didn’t wise up.

The picture’s called “6016760”. Now I don’t know what UK photo-artist Patryk Madej (AKA ‘Sorenquist’) means by that cryptic title. It could be something secret and personal or it could just an image file number. But I do know that I’d think twice before getting into a card game with model Sonia Aneila.

Anna Parfenova’s Sin City

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I posted one example of an Anna Parfenova photo back in mid-December 2018. The talented St. Petersburg, Russia photographer, who also goes by ‘Annie Parfi’, showcases the usual commercial work for fashion, portrait and editorial, all of it colorful, crisp and slick. But her own personal creative work is dominated by elaborately staged and lushly styled romantic fantasy images, with ethereal beauties in sumptuous gowns in opulent salons. Truly, it’s quite lovely.

If that’s your thing, that is.

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But there must be a bit of darkness lurking somewhere in Ms. Parfenova’s creative soul, or a flair for the noir-ish in her camera’s eye. See the juxtaposition for yourself in her galleries at DeviantArt, 500px or even Tumblr (well, her traditional photographer’s formal nude figure studies have understandably vanished there, under the new Tumblr content restrictions) or go her own site, annaparfenova.com. There, the lovely princesses, brides and fantasy femmes are suddenly interrupted by a suite of images titled “Sin City” that pull you into a retro-styled private eye’s office, both retro and contemporary at the same time, cluttered, smoky and ominous looking. A crime is about to be committed, or a steamy love affair is about to commence…or both, more likely.

More of Anna Parfenova’s work follows in the next post…

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Emerald Noir

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Luscious noir-ish paintings — in vibrant green, no less, rather than customary blues, blacks and greys —  by Sina Pakzad Kasra from 2018. Both appear to be reworks of — or homages to — scenes form Hitchcock’s Vertigo, right?  Whatever the inspiration, they’re great.

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Leaving Town Till Things Cool Down

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“Leaving Town Till Things Cool Down” is just one of the striking retro-styled black and white images I’ve seen from photographer Michael Malak. Dig around and you’ll spot more, though sadly they’re left uncredited too often at Pinterest, Tumblr and elsewhere.

The set, props and wardrobe are all spot-on for what I’m assuming is intended as an early 1930’s look. But study the photo a moment, or you’ll miss the best part. She better leave town till things cool down, because someone’s bound to discover what’s lurking in that trunk.

Does Everyone Have A Gun?

Warren Louw

I count five in this handsome piece of noir-art by Warren Louw, and I don’t doubt there are more hidden inside suit coats and under skirts. This is one nightclub it’d be best to steer clear of.

Lagerfeld’s Femme Fatale

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Her dark apparel and even darker hair barely emerge from the shadowy black background. A cigarette dangles from her lips, eyes fixed on the nylon sheen as she adjusts her stocking. All that’s missing is a cleverly hidden .22 revolver.

Karl Lagerfeld – designer, artist, photographer and creative director for Chanel, Fendi and his own fashion house — who passed away last week, shoots model Anna Mougalis as the Noir Femme Fatale personified.

3D Film Noir

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As a former fine arts major, I can understand traditional media: Prime and stretch a canvas, what mediums to use for what effects in oils, etc. (not that I have much use for any of it since school). Of course, fine arts majors are known to go hungry and end up homeless, so some time was was also wisely spent after graduation in community college night classes to fine tune woefully inadequate software skills…Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and all that jazz. The result: I’m well fed and comfortably housed, and blessed to be doing quite well day-job wise.

Film Noir Femme Fatale

But I never, ever could get my tech-challenged head around the intricacies of 3-D graphics, whether basic CAD for engineering or specialty software for product design, and most definitely not 3D graphics for figures, gaming and CGI film effects. I’m always awe-struck by the work, even the simplest projects. I think I stumbled across these from a link at a DieselPunk site, of all places, but got a real kick out of a how-to manual for 3D graphic designers and artists for Film Noir 3D Style: Back To Black & White. And then within that same gallery, the Film Noir Femme Fatale #D art by ‘Dumor3D’. These were posted back in 2014 at the Daz3D Gallery.

 

Gina Higgins’ American Noir

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“American Noir”, the ongoing series of stunning large format paintings by California artist Gina Higgins, is aptly named. That they’re noir is apparent. But the way they evoke a time, place and ‘feeling’ of a sensual and dark slice of America may be their real power and beauty.

Can you tell I’ve become hooked?

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Gina Higgins may have been born in New Orleans, but she grew up in Los Angeles off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills. That Los Angeles-Hollywood vibe seems to permeate her work – from film culture to Sunset Boulevard to retro L.A. nightlife. Still a teenager, she took a break from her college education to study and draw abroad in France and Italy (basically like winning the lottery for an art student) then returned to complete her degree, graduating from the University of Southern California Roski School Of Fine Art.

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Early Higgins illustrations became sought after work for clients like Liz Claiborne, Etienne Aigner, MGM, CBS and others, and then in 2009 Higgins began her signature series of large format paintings (acrylics on canvas, if I’ve read the notes right on various sites) that became “American Noir’. Clearly a masterful figurative painter, Higgins doesn’t seem to be content with straightforward representational realism. Her figures and faces are personalized, stylized and manipulated with a skilled hand till they’re kind of one – almost organically – with her semi-surreal settings and backgrounds. I’ve never seen a Gina Higgins painting in the flesh, but something tells me it would make me want to cry.

See next post…

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