There’s a style of art that motivates me to get up and produce my work. It expresses an emotion that I find myself experiencing regularly. Through it, I can start to understand parts of myself that otherwise would remain hidden. The concept behind “The Halted Traveler” has been used by millions of artists around the world – whether or not they know it!
“The Halted Traveler” was a term coined by photographer Damien Rayuela to describe art where the subject is looking away from the viewer. If you didn’t notice before, in most photographs the subject is looking towards the camera. However, in this style of art there is something so magnificent that the subject has the power to look away. In some of these images the scene is so incredible that the subject is running away from the viewer.
The reason a subject has the audacity to look away from the camera changes from image to image. Though a common theme for “The Halted Traveller” is having the subject look out at a beautiful landscape. You see the back of a person facing out at a breathtaking view. My favorite are the ones with the subjects looking out or venturing out to the ocean. There’s something about the simplicity of the waves and the sky that really captures the emotion.
What emotion do I see in this style of art? I see motivation mostly. I also see energy and appreciation. It’s both a static and kinetic energy. The subject is awestruck by the vastness of something but at the same time is willing to take it all in. After all, they did break eye contact with the camera to look at something.
The way that Damien Rayuela describes the portraits is a little different from mine. He says “[t]he impossibility to see the face of the wanderer leaves us with his posture and the scenery to question the [environment] that is unfolding before his… and your eyes.”
Not only has the traveler broken eye contact with you, they’ve invited you to share the view. You are now part of the piece of art because you are inside of it. “The Halted Traveler” acknowledges the viewer but still looks away. It’s almost reminiscent of the series “Follow Me” by Murad Osmann.
Regardless of the kind of art that you create, “The Halted Traveler” is something we can all take in. It’s got a unique point of view and relates to the viewer in a personal way. When you freeze before a beautiful sunset, you are living the emotion that is captured by “The Halted Traveler”. This is when you stand in awe of something great but you are ready to charge forward towards it all. Take a deep breath and take it all in.