Experimental Images : A Stroll Down Jefferson…


Heading for the Flea Market

On a recent ride in the City of Chicago we took Jefferson north towards Kinzie before crossing the Chicago River on our way north to view an Urban Farm near Division and Clybourn I came across a corner building painted with political figures. I offer then for your consideration. Never let it be said that politics is anything for the faint of heart.

The first image is of a family heading over to the held along Des Plaines Street. This is no doubt the reincarnation of the old Maxwell Street Flea Market of my childhood.

A mom and her daughter are followed by a third family member just visible as he enters the frame. Hundreds of folks are milling around looking for bargains in an economy that has pinched the pocketbooks and wallets of not only the immigrants but those in the middle class as well.

Herman and Cornell talk it over...

Along the western wall of the structure in the first image are two drawings of political figures. The drawings depict two African-Americans (or as Herman likes to say of himself he is not an African-American but either a Negro or a Black person).

Dr. Cornell West is a theologian from Princeton who along with Tavis Smiley is waging a campaign to have the political agenda include those who are poor and powerless.

Herman Cain is the representative of the Tea Party who vied for the GOP Presidential nomination before bowing out over allegations of infidelity and sexual harassment. These two men represent not only the opposite ends of the political spectrum but in an odd way also the moral spectrum as well.

Herman Revealed

I did not recognize Herman at first and in fact it was only a week later that I thought to myself I have seen this fellow before. And then it hit me he is wearing the felt fedora that was the trademark of the Tea Party candidate Herman Cain. It was then that I understood his naked depiction.

You really have to be a very confident person to enter the political arena or instead drawn by the promise of financial gain, because nothing else seems to make it an attractive thing to do (at least from my standpoint).

I was surprise that some wag had not already filled in the sign Herman is holding to hide his genitals. But I guess that others like me did not recognize him as himself. Perhaps another week will have made a difference. I certainly hope that the drawings are left untouched.

Technical Information

All three of these images are the product of layer effects. But the new trick I discovered is the use of the intelligent brush. It seeks out similar tones and surrounds them with the “marching ants” marquee. That way you can apply an adjustment to specific portions of the frame. There is something like this in Lightroom but with far less precise masking. And of course Lightroom really does not support layers.

The base layer was a solarization and a find eyes filter effect. The other portions of the scenes were posterizations.