Perspectives - The Blog

Tagged: Portaiture


Posted by The Center on January 25, 2010

(Photo credit: Gentleman #32 by Erica Allen)

Director’s Selection: Erica Allen

Brooklyn-based photographer Erica Allen examines our preconceived notions of identity through both historical and contemporary viewpoints. By means of photographic ready-mades, Allen’s series Untitled Gentlemen features digital composite images that are constructed with “anonymous faces from contemporary barbershop hairstyle posters combined with figures from discarded studio photographs.”  Due to Allen’s source material, her series touches upon themes of gender, race, and fashion.

(Photo credit: Erica Allen. From the Untitled Gentlemen series.)

The constructed “gentlemen” in the images are peculiarly intimate while, at the same time, they are also anonymous. In her artist statement, Allen discusses the relationship between her work and the viewer:

I am interested in shifting the frame of how we encounter and interpret images to investigate the meaning and construction of the photographic image. This work aims to encourage the viewer to reflect upon their own interpretation and projection of identity in the photograph.

More of Erica’s work can be found at

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Posted by The Center on January 16, 2010

(Photo credit: The First League Out by Eileen Kennedy)


Tax lawyer-turned-photographer, Eileen Kennedy takes photographs that ask questions about life outside the office. Her series Beyond Success depicts her husband as he prepares to retire from decades of working in law. The resulting images analyze her husband’s condition with an intimacy and immediacy representative of their enduring relationship.

In an excerpt from Kennedy’s artist statement, she describes the threefold-relationship between herself, her husband, and her camera:

As a spouse, I try to probe, listen and empathize. As an artist, my challenge has been to give visual expression to this tension. My working method varies. At times I have used a straight documentary approach, recording the moment or capturing the routine that may soon disappear. At other times, I take a more narrative approach, staging a situation that, although fictitious, is grounded in honest emotions. In both cases, I use the details of an individual life to evoke what I see as a quandary that many of our contemporaries (fifty-and-sixty-somethings) are facing.

This “contemporary what-to-do-with-my-life quandary” is something Kennedy faced subsequent to her own retirement from law. Photography has given her the ability to ask questions and, more appropriately, it has provided her with an outlet through which to analyze her life and the lives of those around her.

(Photo credit: Eileen Kennedy. From the Beyond Success series.)

(Photo credit: Eileen Kennedy. From the Beyond Success series.)

More of Eileen’s work can be found at

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