Abstract painting

Photographer uses clear water to create abstract portraits resembling paintings

Slovak photographer Michal Zahornacky creates a surreal atmosphere in his photos, and he does it all behind closed doors. Once again he brought together the realistic and the abstract. In the series he named Curves, he transformed ordinary portraits into stunning abstract photos resembling paintings. And instead of using Photoshop, he just used water and achieved these amazing effects entirely in camera.

By creating these unique abstract portraits, Michal wishes to question the aesthetic perception of viewers. He wants to encourage them to “find the beauty in the abstract imperfection that is so unique and rare in today’s media.” The goal of the project is, in a nutshell, to show that even imperfection can be beautiful. And indeed, it is possible!

While it may look like the portraits were created in Photoshop, as I mentioned, that’s not the case. In fact, all the photos were taken on film. Personally, I like the simplicity of the solution – the distorted effect is just pure water. Michal explains that moving water creates irregular curves in the object. He can move, bend and think. He creates unique shapes and distorts subjects, making them look like abstract paintings.

My first thought when I saw some of the pictures were paintings by Pablo Picasso or Gustav Klimt. Michal says he was indeed inspired by classical and modern painters. He was inspired by those artists “who create unique portraits and are not afraid to break the classic rules of portraiture”. And with some creativity, he made a series of interesting portraits that will surely catch your attention.

Here are some additional images from Michal’s latest project. You can view the full Curves project on its website, and follow it on Instagram and its Facebook page.