Underlying Julian Barnes’s and John Berger’s respective new collections on art, Keeping an Eye Open and Portraits, is the notion that we’re still figuring out how to engage with and portray the past.
The 16th-century “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” by Raphael was altered twice: first by the artist, who replaced a lap dog with a tiny unicorn; then in the 17th century, when the sitter’s bare shoulders were covered and the broken martyrdom wheel of St. Catherine of Alexandria was painted over the mythical creature.
Congress will vote on a new tax and spending bill Friday, and in case you wondered, not a dime of the $1.14 trillion dollar package will go to oil portraits.
For her Second Self photography series, Canadian artist Meryl McMaster asked her subjects to blindly draw single-line contours of their faces, which she then sculpted into wire masks.
Over a thousand years since Christianity rose to dominance in the United Kingdom, pagan traditions continue to thrive.
“She was wearing such a beautiful color, a sort of inky teal,” photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson said of the Afghan girl with the carefully tied headscarf whose portrait she took last year.
The central question of portraiture is how to best turn its subjects inside out — how to best manipulate an inanimate medium so as to capture an animate sitter with a hidden history of invisible experience.
“In contrast to other medical specialists’ offices with their practical equipment of examining tables and rolling tools, the therapist’s work space has few obvious demands beyond seating for clinician and patient,” psychiatrist and photographer Sebastian Zimmermann writes in an introduction to Fifty Shrinks.
From 2007 to 2013, New York–based photographer Richard Renaldi approached strangers across the United States and asked them to pose together, close, as if they were friends or lovers.
Did you know that the Chupa Chups lollipop logo was designed by Salvador Dalí? Or that Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, despite the fact he created hundreds of works? James Gulliver Hancock has compiled these facts both familiar and strange into illustrated portraits of the artists.
The National Portrait Gallery in London has published a compendium of what portraiture means for the 21st century. While the media may be more tech-heavy than previous centuries, the examination of self remains, perhaps with even more questions of what that means than before.
Have you seen the photograph of Astronaut Charles Duke and his family that was left on the Moon in 1972? It is a small 3×5 color photo of Duke, his wife Dorothy and their two sons Charles and Thomas posing for a studio portrait. If you visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York you can find a document of this photo near the end of the ramp that exits the Hayden Planetarium.