Portraits 2015 with Juror Debra Klomp Ching

January 17 - February 21, 2015

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Index
Olympia (after Manet)
Niki Grangruth and James Kinser
Juror's Selection
Artist's Website
Index
811
Tom M. Johnson
Artist's Website
Index
Scratch One
Craig Becker
Artist's Website
Index
Death Bed When The Room Becomes Water
Marina Black
Artist's Website
Index
Randy & Gates - in Kitchen with Drinks
Alan Charlesworth
Artist's Website
Index
Silent Night
Yinan Cheng
Index
The Ghosts of Route 66
Patrick Cobb
Index
Hiroshi-Japanese-American
Bob Demchuk
Artist's Website
Index
Untitled
Sharron Diedrichs
Artist's Website
Index
Circus Woman Five
Karen Divine
Artist's Website
Index
Portrait of Sophia
Kathleen Donovan
Artist's Website
Index
U Thein Lwin Oo Page 85 (Article 232)
Ana Galan
Artist's Website
Index
Voyeur
Eric Gant
Juror's Honorable Mention
Index
Ancestor Series: Number Five
Susan Goldstein
Artist's Website
Index
Dad's Sister
Lauren Hegge
Artist's Website
Index
Straight Eye - Moan -
Picturisk*
Index
Jacek Z.
Sebastian Holzknecht
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Smiling Through the Heat
Angie Jennings
Artist's Website
Index
Hannah and Ian
Tom M. Johnson
Artist's Website
Index
Tammy, Goldengate Street, Detroit 2012
Dave Jordano
Artist's Website
Index
Johanna
Alexander Klang
Artist's Website
Index
Roarie
Alexander Klang
Artist's Website
Index
Paul, Lower East Side, NY
Robert Kalman
Artist's Website
Index
From The Ms. Ulmer Series.
Candace Karch
Director Award, liveBooks website award
Index
Untitled (Patty and Rita), 2012
Rita Koehler
Artist's Website
Index
SW 5th Av
Peter Maeck
Artist's Website
Index
AIDS Before The Cocktail, He Is Gone
James Messerschmidt
Index
Back
Kendall Messick
Artist's Website
Index
Donia (Amsterdam, 2014)
Alyce Haliday McQueen
Juror's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Daughter of a Slave - Timbuktu, Mali
Robert Moran
Artist's Website
Index
Target Practice
Susan Mullally
Artist's Website
Index
Prodigal Son
Frank Mullaney
Artist's Website
Index
Mother Series No. 4 (self-portrait)
Elizabeth Orcutt
Artist's Website
Index
Boys, BAGLY Prom
Zoe Perry Wood
Juror's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
In Memory of Jawan, Gizzy
Kate Pollard
Artist's Website
Index
Brewer with Ancient Egyptian Beer Jar
Jason Reblando
Artist's Website
Index
Birthday Party
Marisa Redburn
Artist's Website
Index
Chinese Tourists
Andy Richter
Artist's Website
Index
The Futility of Trying Again
Kristen Roles
Artist's Website
Index
Viscera
Giuseppe Santagata
Artist's Website
Index
Amber Groome; Columbus, OH 2012
Fred Scruton
Index
Lily/Helen/Elizabeth
Tina Starr
Index
Women of War
Sebastiano Tomada
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Woman in the Kitchen
Nicholas Shepard
Index
Carolyn No.1
Elizabeth Siegfried
Artist's Website
Index
Shalom Israel
Ashok Sinha
Artist's Website
Index
Lovely Comes, Lovely Is
Ashley Feagin
Artist's Website
Index
The Task of Remembrance
Michelle Rogers Pritzl
Artist's Website
Index
Trash Burning
Seiya Bowen
Index
Monsoon Portrait #47
Hans Gindlesberger
Artist's Website

 

Juror Statement – Portraits 2015

For The Center for Fine Art Photography

 

When asked to describe “What is a portrait?”, it’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. On a very basic level, it can be described as a visual representation of an individual person. This representation can run the gamut of an idealized image meant to flatter, perhaps an impression of personality or social standing, or even just an abstract element of the individual.

 

The portrait is socially constructed, and the notion of identity and how to depict it changes through time and cultural context. In the Renaissance period, for example, lifelikeness was the norm, later on it was the spiritual aspect of the subject, and in Medieval portraits the use of symbolic content was pervasive. Today, the portrait is made within a rapidly shifting cultural and artistic context. The very nature of the meaning of identity is also deeply questioned—not just its representation but also its authenticity. Nowhere else is this better witnessed that in contemporary photography.

 

Previously, we might have broken down the types of photographic portraiture into neat parcels such as formal, candid, environmental and so on. Now, these demarcations are less clear, as are their purpose and subsequent use and understanding.

 

When jurying the Portraits 2015 exhibition, for The Center for Fine Art Photography, it was my intention to ensure the selections broadly reflect what was submitted. The resulting 50 photographs represent—to a good degree—the visual trends and concerns that became apparent when looking through the 3000+ images.

 

Amongst the selections are portraits that comment on a societal, collective identity of our time. Many are particularly arresting for the combination of the photographer’s use of process and material in depicting their subject. A number of quietly spoken, personal narratives are presented, that also reach out on a universal level. Others utilized photographic conventions—frame, light, composition—to excellent effect.

 

 

All of the photographs in this exhibition are fabulous, and each and every photographer should be commended. It’s always difficult to select winners. With a less than 2% chance of being selected, the 50 photographs here are already winners.

That said, some of the stand-out photographs, for me, were those that seemed to defy convention, those that made me look and look again, and those that I could not remove from my mind’s eye once viewed. I was particularly impressed by “Women of War” (Sebastiano Tomada), “Untitled” (Sharron Diedrichs), “Jacek Z.” (Sebastian Holzknecht) and “Mother Series No. 4 (Self-Portrait)” (Elizabeth Orcutt) amongst others.

 

I selected “Donia (Amsterdam, 2014) by Alyce Haliday McQueen for an Honorable Mention because of its simplicity and sparse, but significant use of visual signs, that inform us of place and time. The second Honorable Mention is awarded to “Voyeur” by Eric Gant, partly due to the exquisite use of light, and slithers of information that halt the photograph from existing as merely poetic.

 

“Olympia (after Manet)” by Niki Grangruth and James Kinser received the Juror Selection for the photograph’s utter ‘stop in your tracks and look at me‘ energy. Despite the abundance of appropriations of the ‘Olympia’ painting, and its use as a narrative and aesthetic framework, this photograph succeeds in being fresh and original. The return of the gaze is nothing short of arresting. The use of costume hovers just enough above kitsch, to bring forth a quiet humor, while maintaining a serious composure. This is not an image of mirth, it is meticulously staged, very well informed and demonstrates a fantastic use of light and color.

 

_Debra Klomp Ching, January 2015.