Hali Helfgott’s Street Photography Sets Still Life in Motion
Hali Helfgott is a Los Angeles-based photographer and writer who can arrest momentary stillness through the composition of the human figure and the negative space surrounding. Each black & white and color still frame of her “Street” series leads the subject nearly to movement and the viewer right along with it.
Helfgott’s frontal and contained perspective allows for an angular dimension within the frame, suggesting a life outside of the box. Whatever her subject – skate boarders, shoe buyers, beach bums, selfie takers and subway users all look like their photo was captured just as they were about to turn around or walk away – still life in motion.
In the photographs set in color, Helfgott’s color palate is strong and diverse. Throughout her portfolio, she works with complimentary colors, popping teal against maroon and setting blood-red to a soft beige. Alternatively, some pieces are more obliquely constructed with a strong and simple color palette, like black, grey and a little fire-truck red.
The absence of color in Helfgott’s black & white street photographs works as a welcoming space for natural light to lead the viewer’s eye through the photo, to form the three dimensional space of the background, foreground and subject figure prevalent in so much of her work.