Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Exploring shades and hues

    By Spencer Bell

    For those who appreciate creative skill and imagination, “Fall from Grace” is a beautiful and emotionally powerful art show at the Laney College Photography Department gallery in A-161, through Oct. 29. Oakland native Marc Allen is showcasing a collection of new 16”x 20” color prints.

    Allen is a respected photographer and artist, as well as a Laney student. His passion for art began in early childhood and developed as he attended Oakland School for the Arts, where a teacher encouraged him to use a camera. He’s been into photography ever since.

    Allen has been attending classes at Laney since 2010 and is ready to transfer. His sights are set on California College of the Arts to continue his education and hone his skill.

    He is pursuing a career path in creative design, with the aspiring focus in commercial and fashion photography.

    “Fall from Grace” uses hues to accentuate elements of each photo with gradually fading color shifts.

    Some pictures fade from natural color tones to deep red hues, which made those pictures feel warm and even dark. Other pictures featured a bluish hue and evoked a more melancholy emotion.

    Allen used the lighting and color contrast to create those relaxed and passionate feelings, he said, and credited the New York City photographer Keith Major as a significant influence to his career.

    “Everything you experience in the day-to-day is what goes in to my art,” Allen said, and referenced art inspired by shapes, colors, form, people, life and emotions.

    At the opening reception on Sept.19, the chair of the photo department, Black Moon, welcomed students to the gallery.

    A walk around the department reveals the process from which pictures are brought to life in film development. The steps are tedious and require patience. A quick look in the gallery shows the evidence and result of Allen’s devotion to his form.

    “It’s all about what conveys sadness, what conveys happiness, what conveys pain,” he said. “If you want people to show up and feel sad, you know innately that you want to use cooler tones, you want to have the model convey sadder emotions, you want wilted poses.”

    The artist tailored his exposition with the intention for people to respond to certain color schemes with certain emotions.

    Working with a model or any subject is really about interpersonal communication, Allen said. The success of communication is evidenced in the photos themselves, where the photographer and the model seem in tune, and that is reflected in the emotional response of the viewer.

    “It’s about being clear and being very direct and confident, Allen said.” It’s a lot about making people feel comfortable. The more comfortable a person feels, the more likely they are to express themselves.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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