Tag Archives: photo portraits

Nude in New York: Photo Self-Portraits by Erica Simone

Web Design Worcester .

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Deli on Varick Erica Simone, from the series Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen

It is not uncommon for people to have nightmares in which they dream they are stark naked out on a crowded city street. Photographer Erica Simone decided to create a series of nude self-portraits at locations throughout New York City to discover for herself, “What would the world feel like, naked?” She seems to have enjoyed the experience, and it has become an ongoing project.

Read and see more (including a high-resolution slide show) here in Lens Culture.

Defining identity & memory with "deep fried" photo portraits, and more

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Deep Fried. 1997, C-print, 50.8cm x 61cm. carrera de fotografia . Chino Otsuka. Image courtesy of Huis Marseille.

At age 10, Japanese-born Chino Otsuka was sent away to a progressive private boarding school in Suffolk, England. For her first two years at the school, she was allowed to do nothing. Directory Submission . Then, following her own interests, she started to pursue education with an unrelenting intensity. A book she wrote, at age 15, about her culture-shock and quest for personal identity, made her an instant hero and celebrity back home in Japan. (Twenty years later, the book is still a “must read” for many young Japanese students.) She went on to pursue photography at the Royal Academy of Art, and began a life-long career exploring ideas of identity, memory, and mental time travel, through photography and video and writing.

A brilliant retrospective of her work fills the entire photography museum at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam. And an equally inspiring photobook has just been published: Photo Album by Chino Otsuka.

See and read more in Lens Culture.

Retratos Pintados – Painted Portraits and the Lima Photography Biennial

I’m very lucky to be in Lima right now because kicking off this week is Lima’s first ever Photography Biennial. As part of the event there are over 30 official shows, about half a dozen of which opened last night. My first stop was at a show of painted photo portraits entitled “Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana” (Visual Memory: the Illuminated Portrait and Daily Life). The exhibit, which is curated by Carlos Sánchez Giraldo and  Sofía Velásquez Núñez contains painted photo portraits from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Installation view of "Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana"

The wall text mentions that the curators were inspired to mount this show because they themselves had grown up with the constant gaze of these portraits (of grandparents, great grandparents) in their houses. Painted portraits were very common across Latin America. The involved painting directly on black and white photos. They have this weird way of bringing the subjects to life (in color) but also sucking the life out by removing the photo-ness of the image.

There seems to be a lot of interest in retratos pintados today. Photo historian Geoffrey Batchen has written about fotoesculturas in Mexico as part of his interest in vernacular photography. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York did a show of Brazilian retratos pintados in 2010. In Argentina, Florencia Blanco did a series of photos placing retratos in different contexts. While I was in Iquitos recently, nearly every house I went into had one of these portraits hanging on the walls.

The curators did a fantastic job of mounting the show, decorating the space with vintage wall paper and furniture, making the gallery into a cozy, domestic space. It allows the visitor to appreciate the domestic function of these portraits and makes visiting the show an experience that cannot be reproduced in a book or website (or blog post!).

Installation from "Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana"

Installation from "Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana"

In viewing some of the portraits I was reminded of the Fayum Portraits from ancient Roman Egypt, some of my favorite works of art. I was particularly fascinated by a few of the portraits where the paint was laid on very lightly in places.

Retrato Pintado

There is an interesting play between the painted surface and monochromatic undersurface. Where the paint is light, it’s like the flesh is dissolving away. This is cheesy, I know, but I was reminded of the end of Terminator, when Arnold’s flesh is gradually stripped away in places, revealing the silvery robot underneath.

The front room of the exhibit has painted images from the last 20 years. The practice of directly painting on black and white photographs has died out and one of the many current vernacular practices of family photography involve making painted versions of pictures, often snapshots.

Installation from "Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana"

It’s weird to see these pictures all hung together. I haven’t paid much attention to these recent photo-paintings before. They lack the formal stiffness and nostalgic charm of the retratos pintados and sit in this sort of uncanny valley of being too recent to be revered. Still, I appreciated their inclusion for showing the ongoing customs of vernacular photography in Peru.

Installation from "Memorias Visuales, el retrato iluminado y la historia cotidiana"

The show is up until April 28, 2012. If you are in Lima, do go see it.

Soldier portraits: Before, During, and After War

How do the faces of soldiers change before, during, and then after war? Can we detect profound or subtle psychological shifts just by looking at their portraits?

This is precisely the challenge that Claire Felicie presents with her series of triptych portraits of marines of the 13th infantry company of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. battlefield 3 hack . solar panel training . The series, Here are the Young Men (Marked), shows close-cropped portraits of the Dutch marines before, during and after they were deployed to Uruzgan, Afghanistan in 2009-2010.

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Photo portraits of young soldiers before, during, and after their tours duty at war in Afghanistan Claire Felicie

Without doubt, every viewer will project a bit of himself or herself into the readings of these photographs. No matter what conclusions you draw, the images are haunting and compelling. See the full series here in Lens Culture. For best results, click the slideshow option to view high-resolution images.

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Photo portraits of young soldiers before, during, and after their tours duty at war in Afghanistan Claire Felicie

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Photo portraits of young soldiers before, during, and after their tours duty at war in Afghanistan Claire Felicie

Photo Portrait News – Portrait Salon de Refusés calls for portrait prize images, Alan Powdrill’s Pipe Up portraits and What’s in a Face?

“All portraits reveal something of the sitter, the photographer and also of us as viewers, but none reveal a whole and complete being. This is part of the enduring fascination with the photographic portrait which purports to be an exact likeness but operates more accurately as a metaphor for the self and how that self might exist in the world at a particular point in time.” – Judy Annear, senior curator photographs, Art Gallery of NSW from the press release for What’s in a Face: aspects of portrait photography

Alan Powdrill, Glow from the Pipe Up series

My grandpa, photographer unknown

Alan Powdrill, Amy from Pipe Up series

It’s a photo portrait post, with a pipe-theme, today – that’s one hell of a lot of Ps for a sentence.

Today there’s a call for “unselected entries to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011″ by Portrait Salon, which considering that only 60 images are selected for the international Taylor Wessing Prize, is a fun and positive way to promote portrait photography through trying to retrieve as many of the “discarded” images as possible. Also, some quirky images of women with some amazing pipes (but are they really pipe smokers, I wonder?) courtesy of photographer Alan Powdrill who also has a blog with a Picture a Day, plus an upcoming photo portrait exhibition What’s in a Face? opening on 24 September in Sydney, Australia and running until 5 Feb.

PORTRAIT SALON
Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. The organisers – two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the city’s photographic community – believe that, “out of the 5,973 rejected entries, there must be some good quality portraits which deserve to be shown”. To this effect, the organisers have anonymously (at least at this stage), set up a Salon des Refusés, “which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen”. See Wayne Ford’s blog for more  on the origins of the Salon des Refusés.

This will be a projection of works rejected from a juried art show.  So, if you submitted work to the Taylor Wessing photo portrait prize 2011 and got rejected, then you have another chance to get your work seen and shown.

Simply, email a Jpeg only, at 1000 pixels on the longest edge, of your “refused” submission to: [email protected]

See over for more…

Sure, there may be the possibility that your work will not be selected for a second time, but then, unless you give it a go, how will you know? Also, as the organisers say: “We will show a much higher percentage of work than at the National Gallery” this is also because they will be projecting work so will not be as constrained, in terms of numbers of works that can be shown.  “The venue, date and time, is yet to be confirmed. In order to maintain a high standard of imagery, the projection will be curated, so a selection of the submissions will be shown.”

I’ve agreed to help on the judging panel, which will be announced soon, so send your unselected entries in. After all, you’ve already done the work and it won’t cost you anything, except a little of your time. And if you didn’t enter but know someone who did, then pass the details on. Can’t wait to see some of the “refusés”, so look out for some of them in future posts.

WHAT’S IN A FACE? – ART GALLERY OF NSW

Left: Edward Weston (USA 1886-1956) Guadalupe de Rivera, Mexico 1924, printed later gelatin silver photograph, 20.7 × 17.8 cm. Gift of Patsy W. Asch 2000 © Centre for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents. Right: Loretta Lux (Germany b1969) The waiting girl 2006, Ilfochrome photograph, 38 × 53 cm. Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors’ Program 2007 © Loretta Lux/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney

With portraiture in mind, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has a show What’s in a Face? aspects of portrait photography which is “an exhibition of 45 photographs from its collection. The exhibition focuses on crucial points in the history of photographic depictions of the human face ranging from studio portraiture in the late 19th century to contemporary practices today. Works by Australian photographers, such as Paul Foelsche, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain, Carol Jerrems, Destiny Deacon, Patrina Hicks, Darren Sylvester and others, are placed in an international context, represented by Man Ray, Edward Weston, Iwao Yamawaki, Nan Goldin, Ben Cauchi and Loretta Lux, amongst others.”

If I am anywhere near the Antipodes before then, and you never know what life can bring, then I will swing along, if not I’ll have to make do with virtual enjoyment. I leave you with these thoughts about portraiture from the press release:

“Using photography to depict the face and figure was initially a time-consuming and expensive business. However, the drive to document all things in the world, and rapid technological advances, meant that by the 1880s most people, willing or not and regardless of the photographer’s or their own desires, were documented in some way.

“Spurious 19th century ideas to do with what a face could represent exploded in the early 20th century when identity came to be seen as a psychological rather than social phenomenon. Theatricality and performing for the camera, which had existed in photography since its inception, also became much more evident in this period.

“In the post-WWII era representations of the face and the body quickly acquired a political and socially aware edge. More recently the face has tended to stand less as an expression of personal experience and more a statement that may signify a set of ideas, whether about the individual, the group or the society at large. Many of these highly constructed images acknowledge and play upon the problematics of the photographic portrait.”

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Alan Powdrill, Art Gallery of NSW, Derek Bevis, photo portraits, Pipe Up, Portrait Salon, portraits, Salon des Refusés, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, What’s in a Face?