I was inspired by the video game Kingdom of Hearts. This dualistic fantasy game revolves around the value and meaning of friendship, loyalty, good vs. evil, moralistic ideals, and acceptance of one another. Playing this game was a short escape from the monotony while in isolation during the 2020 pandemic; and, from the political controversies that spewed from the news and social media platforms. For me this is where a parody in relation began to form a vision of ideas.
The Challenge is a conceptual photography piece that portrays an innocent board game of checkers between two brothers. One makes a striking move on the board while the other observes and contemplates his next move. Both wear crowns made of paper and each faces the challenge to be king. The mirror reflection reveals their profile image and stance as the American flag filters their faces and actions. The faded flag represents a type of division from the in-between and under the night sky peers thru the tepee-shaped shelter where they sit. The atmosphere is sparsely covered in red, white and blue. This looming translucent fog sets a concentrated tone and mood toward two popular political parties.
Painting with light was a perfect technique for this staged scene. My sons helped by playing a role and participating in my creative process and vision. This produced something unique that’s reflective of the times while capturing a true essence as brothers. I wanted to indulge their differences and likenesses in kinship as well as individuals; and, to complement this attitude by crowning them both. They each hold special places in my heart of memories with endearing thoughts from their childhood. But before my eyes their relationship as brothers has grown and blossomed as they have become the strong, bright and loving young men they are today.
My hope as an artist is to convey a sincere heartfelt and conscious thought for composing photographically the significance between a brotherly tie and America's division in a larger relationship, history, and the many challenges faced in modern times. This portrayal is open to interpretation.
“No matter our break in common views, the bond of brotherly ties is unbroken.“ -Natalie J. Mund
Copyright © 2007 - 2021 Art & Photography Work by N. J. Mund, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited by law.
Edit Credit: B.A.B.