Hein-kuhn Oh, Dorothée Smith, Wayne Lawrence, Jim Mortram, Jeongmee Yoon, Lamia Maria Abillama, Nathalie Mohadjer, Caroline Fayette, Lydia Panas, Giulio Sarchiola, Jamie House, Albrecht Tübke, Julia Peirone, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Jessica Hilltout, Monika Chmielarz
Photographic portraiture is one of the most compelling and popular of artistic genres. It is also a very complex and tentative area of artistic practice, covering an extensive ground from the singular portrait, to group portraits, to the self-portrait, placed in a variety of contexts, be it contemporary, historical, fictional or mythical. It is also used by contemporary artists to explore issues of identity – national, personal, sexual or social – often developing into a political statement or a psychological sketch.
Laden with ambiguity and uncertainty, portrait photography is compulsively ambivalent. It promises to reveal and depict the character of the subject, but at the same time it may hide and distort it. Motivations and desires are never really obvious and reactions to a portrait can vary enormously, creating grounds for a powerful encounter or exchange between artist, sitter and spectator.
We have assembled a wonderful cross section of contemporary portrait photographers whose work illustrates the vast spectrum of this subject matter. We are delighted to present portrait photography by Albrecht Tübke and Hein- kuhn Oh complemented by interviews which shed light on their work practice and ethos. Their divergent approach to portrait photography reflects the many interpretative paths open to portrait photographers. Whilst Hein-kuhn Oh focuses on façades people construct as representations of themselves, Albrecht Tübke pursues emotional depths and inner truths.