28 June – 9 August 2014
Successful portraits resist description in a way that other types of picture do not. A portrait is something other than just an image. Simple images aspire to tautology; “I am what I depict” they insist. Portraits make the precise inverse of this claim. Portraits suffer from the ravages of their sitters’ old age and dissolute characters.
See these two black and white images of a man’s head, face-on and in profile. The expression is inscrutable; is it fear, anger, defiance, resignation? That his name, aliases, the nature of his crime and the date of his arrest are listed on the reverse is of no help.
The mugshot and the passport photo are the most straightforward, the most concise and accurate of portraits. They are intended only for the purposes of identification. They describe their subjects fully and simply, yet they cannot be fully and simply described themselves. The only way to make a portrait comprehensible is to dissect it, dismember it, reduce it to a collection of appendages and features; here are the eyes, here is an elbow… Sally Kindberg goes further; she has obliterated the face altogether. With cheese. Continue reading “Artist Show
Mugshots: Sally Kindberg + Philadelphia PD”