WHAT IS A PORTRAIT?
What is the relationship between sitter and the surrounding environment in which the subject is placed?
Is the portrait an empirical document of a certain individual's existence or does it tell us more about the artist's 'vision'?
How much does a portrait made in a specific cultural context tell us about the history and belief systems of that time and place?
Does a photographic portrait furnish evidence of a specific event...a representation of a collaboration between the photographer and subject?
Or is portraiture more allusive and metaphorical?
Do portraits reveal the 'inner lives' of those depicted?
What is the difference between what is "real" or "spontaneous" and what is "posed" or "staged"...can a portrait be both at the same time..?
What is the connection between the portrait and the viewer of the final print?
Does the viewer see a descriptive biography based on a rendering of recorded physiognomy?
Or is it more akin to a landscape of mystery...
The breeze that blows the curtain aside... is the story revealed one that the viewer needs to see...what he or she projects onto the image?
A private moment of empathy?
"I understand how it feels to be this person..."
These questions have haunted and thrilled me as an artist/photographer working in the area of portraiture. These concerns continue to inform my current work.