Symmetry

May 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Rest, Binding, Order, Law, Formal Rigidity, Constraint, Boredom, Stillness, Monotony, Fixity, Stasis, Simplicity.*

These properties are all conveyed by symmetry.  Symmetry can be leveraged in many ways such as through color, texture, lighting, depth, and form. Most animals and people have symmetrical characteristics (a left arm and a right arm) that frame some less symmetrical characteristics (blemishes on the left but not the right, or an eyelid that sags more on one side than the other). Symmetry can be found in nature (snowflakes) and in human creation (Roman architecture). Sound waves, ripples from dropping a pebble into water, and the Pantheon in Rome are all symmetrical. There is a sort of mathematical beauty or balance in symmetry, and this can convey a sense of wholeness or completeness.

This portrait of Zena is highly symmetric, because I mirrored Zena's face by copying the left half, flipping the copy horizontally, and using it as the new right side of her face. Does it convey any of the above properties? Zena and others have responded with statements like, "It kind of freaks me out, but I love it!" I interpret this to mean that the human face is not expected to be perfectly symmetrical ("It kind of freaks me out"), but that there is still something attractive, or at least intriguing, about the symmetry ("But I love it").

~ Kris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I.C. McManus, European Review, Vol. 13, Supp. No. 2, 157–180 (2005).

Model: Zena Q


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Kristoffer Cox Photography: Artisan Portraits and Conceptual Images

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