National Geographic : 2012 May
VISIONS | PHOTO JOURNAL • Klaus Enrique is based in Mexico City and London. More of his work can be seen at klausenrique.com. THE PHOTOGRAPHER Arcimboldo Again When I first encountered painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo's work, I was deflated. There was no point in carrying out the "new" concept I had for a portrait series---it had been done 400 years ago, and done magnificently. But my research has shown me it wasn't even his idea. These portraits date from the first guy to grab two stones and a stick and say, Hey look, a face. Today I don't mind getting an email saying, You are a thief; you are scum---like I went to the Louvre and just wrote my name on top of all the Arcimbol- dos. I think photography is the right medium for this. It is more powerful to see the real things; they bring a rawness that painting could never do. To think Arcimboldo, or anyone else, has the last word is a farce. My photographs are just a part of the body of work as well. I can imagine a day in the future when some artist will use genetic engi- neering to create a living plant that looks exactly like Arcimboldo's "Vertumnus." It will be arresting. Seen as I intended, the hat holds my signature. But even upside down, the image still works as a bowl of vegetables. Klaus Enrique "The Vegetable Gardener" by Arcimboldo, circa 1590 PHOTO: IMAGNO/GETTY IMAGES "THE VEGETABLE GARDENER"