Visualizing the Enemy

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Andriy Onufriyenko
Sarah Foster
Apr 23, 2020
Now more than ever creativity and imagination are called into action during this unprecedented moment in modern history. We learn and understand through seeing, and in this rapidly changing environment, imagery has immense power to help visualize and interpret this deeply unsettling time and future unknowns.

At Getty Images, moving the world through imagery is the lifeblood of what we do. Our creative team and our exclusive contributors have quickly risen to the challenge, writing briefs in real‑time against the needs we see, and the response has been incredible. In just over a month’s time, our exclusive contributors have generated a stunning wave of relevant new content to meet up to the minute customer demand.

As part of this creative momentum, I’m fortunate to work with the multi‑faceted creative talent, Andriy Onufriyenko. A self‑taught, highly accomplished photographer and digital artist, his dynamic portfolio range from analog medium format portraiture, often whimsical and dreamlike, to highly sophisticated CGI and motion graphics. While quite diverse stylistically, his work stands out with deep color palettes, elegant graphic simplicity, and multidimensional conceptual potential. He renders complex ideas with striking clarity, and when he is in between projects for his commercial and corporate clients, we regularly share inspirations and brainstorm concepts around key customer needs. I love collaborating with him as he’s bursting with prolific creativity.

We already had several themes in the works as the Coronavirus became front and center.  Knowing that customers would need a wide range of imagery and video to illustrate the virus,  Andriy started immediately rendering his interpretations. To avoid the lack of nuance he was seeing in existing content, he describes his thought process and approach this way:

"I was looking through images of viruses and other microorganisms and noticed that most pictures look dark, scary, heavy. I had the idea to create a different series of COVID‑19 in a more direct, neutral, and engaging way. To make them look serious, of course, but also intriguing, to invite viewers to look more closely.  I wanted to keep a photorealistic quality, with rich texture, and give more openness to each composition. I used dynamic color against flat backgrounds to create a quick contrast – it puts the main object in front and the picture becomes catchy so fast. You don't need even to think about the composition for a layout, even with other layers of metaphors and meanings, they are simple and clear, easy to use.  Nowadays there are so many scary and negative things so I hope my images will help people to look to something in a bit more engaged, curious, and maybe even optimistic way."
By picturing this invisible enemy, we bring it into the realm of the known; interpretations like Andriy’s provide a way to visualize and begin to understand this foe. Our creative team and our contributors are dedicated to providing customers with the right content, created quickly, in this moment and into the future, whatever it may hold.  
Rebellious Beauty