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Spread #6 – Say ‘Branza’! July 15, 2008

Posted by Orly in Uncategorized.

The man and the woman in this picture are my grandparents. They were from Romania. When I look at them I wonder why they don’t smile to me.

 Why didn’t they smile to the camera in the old days? Was it because they had bad teeth or no teeth at all and didn’t want to expose them? Was it because they needed to pose for long minutes due to old cameras exposure time? Was it considered rude to smile since taking a photograph was a formal event and not a casual ‘capturing the moment’ type of thing? Whatever the reason is, it made for cold, distanced images.

 How about today? We take snap shots, we say ‘cheese’, and click, it’s done. I’m not sure I’m that impressed with that either. Now we have way too many pictures of people with fake smiles, pretending they are happy, making believe they are having a joyous moment.

 As you can see I used an old photograph of my grandparents to visually ‘discuss’ this. They were warm hearted and had a huge sense of humor..No hint of that in this picture.

By now you  probably found out that ‘Branza’ means cheese!


1. Maya - July 15, 2008

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I love the balance between the sad or solid faces to the left and the happy and joyous faces to the right.
Hmm… I also wonder of the possibilities of those people not smiling. Maybe times were hard then so they just were muddled in their thoughts and didn’t smile? …There are many possibilities. They’re endless!
The art just balances it perfectly.
Another great art piece by Orly!

2. Ilan - July 15, 2008

I love all of your art! It is so inspiring. This is from the deepest point in my heart, your art is amazing. The quirkiness of this spread is amazing. The colors are right on, and the message i clear. Another great post.

3. Bellaperson - July 16, 2008

This one probably out of all of them really gets me! I read the description and I agree… I love how you described the solemnity of old portraits and how we almost take our snapshots and photos for granted, give a fake smile and be done with it when for people like them, taking this pictures must have been a big thing!
You’re artwork clearly portrays your thoughts and I love how you added that little ‘Say Branza!’
Once again, great job & keep up the amazing work!

4. handan - July 16, 2008

Ik zei weer “Wow, mooi!” toen ik keek en dan weer toen ik las wat je schrijft :)!
Wist je dat wij “Nederlanders” (:D) niet mogen glimlachen maar volkomen serieus moeten kijken als we een foto voor onze paspoort moeten maken? Iedereen anders zijn paspoort kijkt vrolijk en alle Nederlanders sip.
Liefs, Handan

5. Lazymask - July 18, 2008

absolutely great.. very meaningful.. 😉 good job..

6. Yankale - July 21, 2008

How wrong can ‘first impression’ be. If you look at those old family pictures, you really might think that they all were grumpy, unhappy people. Amir even suggested that they look like a mafia family and are about to pull out their guns any moment and start shooting everybody.
But only ‘insiders’ know that they all were (and some of them still are!!!) the most happy, joyfull, positive people I knew. Full sense of Humor.
It’s good to see that you, Orly, keep these family properties high with your sense of humor (branza etc.).

Interesting to know the background, why the took this family picture and it may explain a little bit why they look so serious on the picture.
They made this picture as an evidence that they are still alive.
Yes! It’s true!
Part of the family (Savta Hanna’s sister Chaike and her family) managed to escape to Russia when the Germans invaded Romania.
After the war came a family friend from Russia and told them that Chaike thinks that the whole family who stayed in Romania died in the war and could not believe that they have survived. (It was before the Cell phone era…:)
So they took this picture to send it to Russia as a proof that they all have survived.
Juicy story…
I love your

7. jellopenguin - July 21, 2008

I love your spread, and totally agree. It’s amazing to think about it… old photographs have given us a glimpse of the past but maybe not a totally accurate one… I mean all of the people are hardly ever smiling, looking a little distanced and grim. And yes, today, it may not be much better. I love snapshots of everyday life taken at random moments of true emotion, be it anger or happiness. I think that that’s a clearer picture. Anyway, you did such a great job of portraying that, one again. 😀

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