Amateur street photographer Chris Porsz wandered the streets of his native Peterborough for hours in the 70s and 80s, capturing brief portraits. After rediscovering his trove of photos, he was inspired to recreate some of the shots for his second book, Reunions (SLBuzzfeed).
Jens Juul, a photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently won the 2016 Magnum Photography Award in the Portrait category for his his work Six Degrees of Copenhagen (some photos nsfw). In an interview, he explains that Six Degrees of Copenhagen is about breaking boundaries. [more inside]
Richard Prince's new "portraits" are a reminder that someone else can sell your Instagram pictures for $100,000. When does appropriation go too far? Richard Prince sucks, but his Instagram paintings [prints] are genius trolling. Why the latest copyright lawsuit matters, from experts. [more inside]
Gillian Wearing herself. Gillian wearing Warhol. Gillian wearing many faces, one of the ten most important artists today. [more inside]
If this is a real picture of the Brontës, then I'm Heathcliff! [The Guardian] A collector is convinced that the £15 photograph he snapped up on eBay is of the Brontë sisters. It’s highly unlikely, but the story is a mark of our enduring fascination with the literary family. Plus, a Brontë Society expert gives her verdict. Could this be the only photograph of the three Brontë sisters? asked Seamus Molloy [Daily Mail], who picked the photograph up for 15 quid on eBay.
Brooklyn Republic recently closed the exhibition Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, a mid-career retrospective, going back 14 years, from Kehinde's early styles to the more well-known mix of young black men in casual attire, recreating traditional portrait scenes, with a backdrop of vivid patterns, as seen in the National Portrait Gallery, among other settings. More recently, he has expanded his street-casting to include African American women, as captured in the PBS Arts documentary, Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace. More videos and critical commentary below the break. [more inside]
In 1977, John Goto made this series of photographic portraits of young British African-Caribbeans at Lewisham Youth Centre, South London, where he taught evening classes in photography. It was not until 2013, however, that circumstances allowed him to first exhibit and publish the work.
Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
In Yousuf Karsh's 93 years, he had amassed more than 15,000 sittings to his name, capturing portraits of famous and worldly people. He rose to international prominence due to his portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. At first, it was an honor for the amateur Karsh to walk up to or invite people to photograph them. After that, it became a privilege for future subjects to be accepted into Karsh's gallery. Karsh's website is a source for great insight into the photographer's life, in his own words and through his works. You can read more in this 1988 interview Karsh gave to the Paris Voice, see a few more portraits from the Smithsonian Magazine, and view an interview in three parts. [more inside]
Álvaro Franca's Typewritten Portraits is a time-lapse video showing the artist using the typewriter to progressively, manually build portraits of favorite authors. Other works also deal with the idea of repetition in type, including calligraphy, a multilingual silkscreen and patterns of icons.
Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.*
With her most recent series, Alienation, South African photographer Anelia Loubser finds the extraterrestrial in all of us. Here are the mugshots she used as source material. More Loubser at Behance, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you visit the Humans of New York website or on the Facebook page now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015 . Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq". [more inside]
Attention Tim O'Toole : You are the CEO of First Capital Connect and my train is late almost every day. I'm going to change your face every time my train is delayed. (SLTP)
President Obama is now the first president to be 3D scanned and printed. The...creation will be housed at the National Portrait Gallery.
'Madeline L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” I know that when I’m meeting older people, anyone for that matter, you look in the person’s eyes and their eyes are behind the façade. You feel more connected with somebody’s soul in that sense. So instead of judging a book by its cover, looking at this old person like maybe they’re not capable of this or that, I wanted to show how full and beautiful they are. They’ve already lived what I’m living. They have so much knowledge, and they’re still living.' Jason Bard Yarmosky on the portraits of his grandparents: Elder Kinder (2011), Elder Kinder (2012), Dream of the Soft Look (2013) [via Everlasting Blort] [more inside]
The Identity Project "seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality." Accompanying each portrait are words the subjects prefer to use to describe themselves -- "Boi," "Provocateur Lesbian Dandy," "Queer Femme Beefcake," "Gold Star Gay Wife," "Gay Masculine of Center," "Lezzer Queer Bossy Mama," "Inbetweener," "Legally Married." By San Francisco photographer Sarah Deragon. [more inside]
There has long been various lines of speculation about Mona Lisa, including the existence of an earlier version of the painting. A painting purported to be the earlier version was revealed in 2012. The accuracy of the statements are supported by The Mona Lisa Foundation, who have set up an extensive website around the history of the Mona Lisa and other versions, and also prepared a 21 minute documentary with various professionals providing their knowledge on the topic. [more inside]
The Danish royal family has released their new portrait, which is less Hans Holbein and more "cover of a Stephen King novel." [more inside]
Before They Pass Away: Powerful Portraits of Secluded Cultures on the Brink of Extinction. Q&A with Jimmy Nelson.
In the aftermath of one of the strangest political scandals ever to plague the mayor of a major North American city, Rob Ford oversees the unveiling of a high-profile portrait of himself by a sitting councilor, made at the request of Ford's mother. The artist describes the piece as complex, but a lot remains unsaid regarding the weight Ford's personality carries into the realm of portrait.
Artist Sergio Albiac is creating generative portraits from selfies. You can be part of his new exhibition by submitting a photo via Google Drive. "In a nutshell, this experiment, with the participation of an Internet audience, will produce as many artworks as possible.... An automated process will create human portraits as generative collages, using as sources some images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Generated portraits will be exhibited at the flickr Stardust Portrait exhibition."
"Fabiola has been a beloved subject for countless painters, most of them amateurs. The portrait’s format is almost always the same: Fabiola is seen in profile facing left, her head covered by a rich red veil. Mr. Alÿs, who was born in Belgium in 1959 and moved to Mexico City in 1990, began collecting Fabiola paintings — as the genre is called — about 15 years ago, buying them at thrift shops, flea markets and antiques stores primarily in Mexico and Europe. He has previously shown his collection three times, when it was much smaller; the current presentation includes more than 300 works. Photos of the exhibition
In 1975, American photographer Nicholas Nixon took a photo of his wife Bebe and her three sisters. Since then, the Brown sisters took a photo every year till 2010. [more inside]
Levi van Veluw* has taken his self-portraiture to the next level by bringing his family into the picture. "Portrayed in this piece is a room with 5 persons sitting at a table.... The endless repetition of wooden blocks stands for van Veluw’s attempts to gain control of his own position within the familial structure."
Christoffer Relander creates multiple-exposure portrait photographs, crossing humans and nature to haunting effect.
"Blow Job" is a series of portraits of people with gale-force winds blown directly into their faces. (SFW) [more inside]
"The Soldier Portraits Project...consists of portrait photographs of soldiers of the United States Army, primarily of the 3rd Infantry Division...[t]he photographs are made using the 150 year old collodion wet plate process - the same process that was used to document much of the period (and many of the soldiers) of the Civil War." [more inside]
Throughout the world, El Mac's grand spraypaint portraits combine with RETNA's cryptic, hieroglyphic language to create stunning murals.
Amin's hunger for publicity was so great, in fact, that in 1974 he became the first dictator in history to agree to be the subject of an independent documentary film. The resulting movie, Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada... is a devastating look at despotism in action and a riveting, and strangely entertaining, portrait of Amin. [more inside]
The original time-lapse self portrait? And some modern artists: Enchanting self portraits from Iceland's Rebekka Gaudleifs. Nude self portrait (NSFW) from Israeli artist Roni River. Disturbing stories from Canada's projecteye (NSFW) and magical self-portrait from New Hampshire-based Sarah Ann Loreth.
In remembrance of the Confederate and Union soldiers who served in the American Civil War, the Liljenquist Family recently donated their rare collection of almost 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress. These achingly poignant portraits speak volumes. [more inside]
Seydou Keïta, self taught Malian portrait photographer, shot some of the most renowned portraiture of 1940 - 1960's Bamakan society. [more inside]
In addition to being a five term US senator, Barry Goldwater was an accomplished photographer, particularly of people and landscapes of the American West. [more inside]
Face your pockets. I have no idea how these people got their heads wedged into their scanners, or why.
"They are the earliest painted portraits that have survived; they were painted whilst the Gospels of the New Testament were being written. Why then do they strike us today as being so immediate? Why does their individuality feel like our own? Why is their look more contemporary than any look to be found in the rest of the two millennia of traditional European art which followed them? The Fayum portraits touch us as if they had been painted last month." The Fayum mummy portraits were painted between the first and third centuries AD, in Roman Egypt, and preserved by the dry Egyptian climate. Wikimedia Commons. According to Wikipedia, 900 portraits are known to have survived. John Bavaro has been creating modern versions using the Brushes app on the iPhone. Via the Brushes Gallery on Flickr.
David Friedman, the guy behind sundaymagazing.org, has created a fascinating series of short docs and photos he calls Inventor Portraits. I particularly like the installment on life long inventor Brent Farley, and the man behind the Wilcraft.
French artist Anthony Geoffrey makes fantastic celebrity caricatures. The site uses flash and is in French but it loads fast and the navigation is simple. The caricatures are in the Portfolio. I particularly enjoyed his Ash from Evil Dead and his House MD. These are not the same as the ones you find in the mall by some poor guy trying to scratch out a living. [more inside]
The Aura Camera was developed in the 1970s by Polaroid as a way to see auras around people as a psychic might. Though very rare, Carlo Van De Roer managed to get his hands on an AuraCam 6000 to capture a stunningly unique series of portraits [some mildly NSFW].
50 Aldermen/50 Artists. Chicago gallery Johalla Projects enlisted local artists to meet with the members of the city council and create a portrait of the person they found. "The goal is just to get people involved," says co-curator Jeremy Scheuch. "I think a lot of aldermen were (initially) afraid of what this might be about." More photos here.
Many people who paint portraits try to make the painting look like a living person. Alexa Meade tries to make the person look like a painting. [more inside]
Portraits – Somewhat creepy but arresting, nevertheless.
"I found him, this little dog in a dumpster down in the projects in the South Side while I was pickin’ up cans. The reason I picked it up is because whenever I see a little child I give it to him." [more inside]
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