Death of an Image is a series of photographs shot and created by Andrea Galvani. Andrea Galvani is an Italian photographer that currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. I was first introduced to his work through a blogging platform named Tumblr where a blogger I follow posted two of Galvani’s works. The two works consisted of two horses with their heads replaced by a circle of balloons.
When I first saw the two photographs, I was perplexed yet captivated at the same time. The photographs exuded a foreign meaning that I couldn’t understand instantaneously. The surreal quality of the photographs forced me to look closer and deeper. I think that is why Andrea Galvani’s work is extraordinary — It isn’t shallow. It invites you to reflect and ruminate.
The stance of the horses is conventional yet the heads are atypical. The circle of balloons covering the heads of the two horses causes the subject to be distorted and take on a new form of transfiguration. The landscape in the background and the horses’ body are undisturbed, yet the balloons covering the two heads make the image surreal. Why would Galvani cover the head and not the body? Historically, the head has been considered the most important part of any living being because the face is the most recognizable feature of any body. By covering the horse’s head, we cannot truly determine if Galvani photographed a horse or not. Another notable aspect of the two photographs is the stark contrast between black and white. Black and white are polar opposites; Black is the absence of color while white is produced by combining all colors of light in equal proportions. The landscape in the two backgrounds are of opposite colors to the horses’ bodies respectively. Although the horses are of opposite color, both photographs convey the same meaning. By creating a contrast between the two horses, Galvani showcased the importance of congruity in what seems to be two opposing images.
Galvani effortlessly blends the boundaries between fantasy and reality in Death of an Image. The balloons are an extension to another cosmic dimension and transforms what we know to illuminate a perspective that expands our personal boundaries of thought — more notably, a death of a preconceived image.