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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The only thing better than a gracious note from a gorgeous client is a gracious note with photos attached.  New Orleans-based Jeff Louviere recently emailed me these two pictures of his wife Vanessa wearing my Isabella Wolf-Fang necklace while cavorting with their rescued German shepherds.

Vanessa doubled up the long chain so she could wear the Isabella at choker length.

I think that dog's tongue is as big as my entire Pekingese.

The photos were so intriguing that I had to ask for more information. It turns out that Jeff and Vanessa are fine-art photographers, working as a team under the name Louviere + Vanessa. Jeff describes their work as “taking cues from ‘vintage’ processes and using modern technology to take it further.” Kind of like my antique-inspired jewelry, right?

Jeff says, “Our first real series used taxidermy manikins and people trying to ‘fit’ into nature. We printed black and white photos on handmade Japanese Gampi paper that has a flesh toned color to it then coated them with a mixture of wax and blood.” Blood? These are my kind of peeps.

An example from the first series.

Next, they “printed directly onto leaves using only sunlight and the process of photosynthesis.”

This amazes me.

“Then,” says Jeff, “we started playing with the 100 year old process of orotones, using gold as the base of the photograph …we did our own take on it, using gold leaf instead of old oil and using resin to encase the gold leaf and the actual paper photograph and making them really big.” Naturally, I love this work because it involves GOLD! Hello! It’s like jewelry you can hang on your wall.

This 8' piece features rescue shepherd Rocky. He looks tough but he was just having fun with a hose.

The gold also reminds me of illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages.

This one is sex-ay.

Jeff and Vanessa do experimental super 8mm films as well and this is where they really get me. Just like I have an urge to do strangely complicated things, like turn pendants into whistling lockets, Jeff and Vanessa decided to turn a film into a photo. Jeff explains:

“We shot a picture, gridded it out and cut it into 3,550 individual stills and shot each one on one frame of super 8. We had the film developed and transfered to DVD so it could be seen as a movie, then we cut the physical film strips in one-foot sections and build custom LED lightboxes for them.”

Here’s one from that series.  It was shot in the catacombs of Paris with an “old plastic medium-format camera.” The dimmer switch on top is made of copper wire and … a human finger bone. (Jeff notes, “We did NOT steal the bone! We got it legally.” Phew!)

I've done skull jewelry but never with any real body parts!

When they’re not having fun with finger bones, Jeff and Vanessa like to play with their German shepherds. They currently have two. One of those has turned out to be part wolf, so the Isabella Wolf-Fang necklace was a highly appropriate gift choice. “I think it’s the mixture of super-goofy and regal that draws us to shepherds — same thing that drew me to Vanessa,” says Jeff.

It’s amazing who you can meet online. If I ever get to N’awlins, I’m going to make a point of seeing this work in person.  Meanwhile, you can check it out on the Louviere + Vanessa website.

All photos in this post were provided by Louviere + Vanessa, of course. Click any of them to get to the website.

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25 Responses to “Meet Photographers Louviere + Vanessa”

  1. Oh my god! I love their art– the first gallery I ever worked out, the show right before I started working their was one of their shows (if I remember correctly). They had a beautiful exhibit in the Gallery of Fine Photography here…. their work is so incredible, and a strong reminder of my love of photo.

  2. Mary says:

    Wow and also wow! Their art is fantastic,I love the Paris skulls photo. How I would love that hanging on one of my walls. We metalheads love us some skulls! The dogs are just beautiful. I have always had little dogs eg toy poodles and would love a big german shepard or a standard poodle. Alas no room for such a canine. Plus Holly (the 16 yr old, blind,bald poodle) would have a fit!

  3. patni says:

    I love their work! and love that it is on gold. How amazing! I took barbie to the catacombs years ago. I think the pictures are still undeveloped lying round my apt somewhere… she was sitting in the skulls.

  4. lisa says:

    My jaw kept dropping more and more as I read this post. Amazing stuff.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    This is the most moving, compelling, intriguing, and original photography-based work I’ve seen in years, and I’ve seen some intense stuff.

    Thank you for introducing me to this team.

  6. alixrose says:

    What an amazing art. Wow!

    Also thanks for your comment and yes I know how you feel about leopard print. I will be in NYC next month for Fash Week – I hope I get to see you.

  7. mystyle says:

    Hi there-what stunning photos and very inspirational, I must show this to Christopher! x

  8. Sara Rocha says:

    Wow! Thank you for showing this.
    I’m in love with their work! I truly love the gold pictures!
    Really amazing…

  9. Sally says:

    WOW. What a dynamic artistic team. The photosynthesis leaf/photo is truly amazing.

  10. Wow such beautiful photos. I’m definitely going to head to their website now.

  11. stacy says:

    Their work is very unique. I really like it. It also puts out a bit of a haunting vibe. Very cool stuff.

  12. Gorgeous work!
    Hope all’s well with you, WB!


  13. This is a great piece. Amazing people. Love the way they are thinking. I find the leaf print stunning too. Xxxx

  14. Hannah says:

    Wow, stunning photography xx

  15. drollgirl says:

    photography and jewelry in one post?! two of my favorite things! and i love the two sepia-colored shots!!! fantastic!

  16. wow… these are so insanely amazing. def jewelry for the wall…


  17. That photo of the German Shepard jumping into the air is captivating.

  18. You have such amazing clients!!

  19. maya says:

    Wow, those photographer done amazing works. Love your Virginia Wolfe Whistle!
    thank you for your comments and get well wishes.

  20. The one of the blonde is fantastic xx

  21. If you’re interested in learning more and seeing Louviere + Vanessa’s work in print, check out Diffusion magazine. You won’t regret it. The french maid image above is on the cover! Cheers

  22. Moira says:

    I am blown away by their work and their engaging website. I couldn’t pull myself away from it. I featured Louvier + Vanessa on my blog today. Thanks for the tip.


  23. Melissa says:

    Wonderful post – gold, photography, dogs, jewelry…does it get any better? Thanks for sharing!

  24. Jess says:

    I was fortunate to see this exhibit today at the Polk Museum of Art where I reside in Lakeland, FL and it is just breathtaking. I’m doing a paper for my Humanities course and I can’t wait to talk about the beauty of their art. It is absolutely beautiful.