Whether its the diamond-studded skull by Damien Hirst or lively yet pensive portraits by Francesco Clemente, the face is a subtle index to the subconscious. Performing an undisclosed narrative, portraits tempt you to decode an expression, a character, and the tale of routine.
How well you look beyond depends on how well you have lived, isn’t it? Without a doubt, portraits demand an empathetic gaze—drawing our attention to dive deep into the blood and nerve.
As an effort to retell the story with a newer perspective, we dived into our collection to share five portrait prints that may strike an experiential chord with you.
Squashed by Sophie Cheung
The face is the most vital part of our body—of which Instagram is the proof—where a blemish or a scar is more hurtful than any other limb. Squashed by Sophie Cheung narrates the most prevailing story of the corona pandemic that has locked the world within the claustrophobic four walls. Comparing it with a feeling of suffocation and conflict, Sophie’s portraits blurt out stark truth on the face of hypocrisy, as depicted through painted tears. Far from conventional representation, Squashed is not a yearning rather a collective retelling of the repetitive stories of frustration.
Disguise 02 by Melanie Santos
Aren't we all disguised in an image that pleases us and our encounters? Inspired by Tim Walker photography, Melanie Santos holds an appealing double-layered mask in her hand that projects a principle of duality. Also, the glittering brows, a cowboy hat, red frills, staged over a cobalt blue sky creates a carnival-kind aura—vigorous and reviving. Misaligned with the real one, blue lips grab our attention compulsively. While the pout over the drooling corners hints at contradictory emotions, the fact that it is not real reignites our hope!
Aweng by Franco Schicke
Rembrandt, in his portraits, delved into the feelings and emotions of the model, instead of rendering just tenebrism paintings. On the same lines, Franco Schicke believes in an amicable exchange with the subjects of photography. Aiming to seize those warm, sensitive, and emotional moments, Aweng is one such work where the moment of innocence, merged with past experiences as seen in her eyes, got framed. In addition, the wielding deep-grey palette and an effective chiaroscuro-play bloom an ambiguous aura to the picture. Building a warm bond, Franco and Aweng cordially worked on many future projects.
Mundane 02 & 03 by Ignacio Trias
Does shutting our eyes mean the world ceases to exist? Maybe shutting our eyes is the only way to reach out deeper within ourselves! Mundane 02 &03 belongs to a series of three portraits by Ignacio Trias, projecting an animated act of blinking. A blink of life—as if an act of exhaling and inhaling in a controlled gap. A scallop-collar and a stern expression deem to oppose the conventional appropriation that society follows insensitively—the factor that stands these photos out of the rest.
Persona by Manuel Zuñiga
Is it a human portrait or the portrait of a scar? A provocative rendition of the upper back, Persona by Manuel Zuniga, exemplifies several invoking meanings. Although another peculiar portrait print from Pieza’s collection, the linearity of the head to shoulder, with a flat backdrop is outstanding. Notice an earring on the left ear, which is a marker of intricacy and subtlety!
Author: Urvi Chheda