Portraits (1980)

Artist’s Statement

Portraits, a portfolio of forty-four silver gelatin prints, was originally designed as an installation. In a gallery situation these black and white portraits covered all four walls, completely surrounding the viewer.

The photographs were made while the subjects were in repose, gazing at the camera with little else but their head and shoulders visible. The camera focuses mainly on the face, often leaving the tops of heads out of the photographs. This accents the eyes which seem to be looking right out at the viewer, giving the portraits a sense of immediacy. The camera and the photographer were quite close to the subjects, imparting a feeling of intimacy verging on the claustrophobic. Fairly long exposures were used (often ½ second) to eliminate the fleeting quality often found in photographs. These portraits were meant to take up time as well as space.

This project was not intended to reveal some mysterious inner truth about the subjects, in fact when making these photographs, I was more interested in their collective effect on an audience than the subjects themselves as unique individuals.

In the gallery, the viewer seems invited to approach these portraits and is free to study the subject’s physiognomy, while the subject him/herself, along with all the other surrounding likenesses, appear to be studying the viewer in a similar manner. In this way I hoped Portraits would transform the audience into subject; the view into viewed.

Portraits: Exhibition history

Solo (or duo) shows:

1981 Galerie Dazibao, Montréal

1980 Critical Eye Gallery, Hatley, Québec

Group shows:

1985 Portraits, Galerie Articule, Montréal

1984 Le Portrait, Consejo Mexicano de Fotografia, Tehuantepec, Mexico – Exhibition toured Mexico in 1984

1983 Portraits, Espace OVO, Montréal

1981 End of Tale, Galerie Yvon Lavoie, Montréal

Portraits: Bibliography

1981 René Viau, “Le Paris de Robert Doisneau,” Le Devoir, Nov. 14, 1981, Montréal, p. 37.
Louise Abbott, “Portraits make ‘bold’ exhibit,” The Gazette, Nov. 18, 1981, Montréal, p. 97

Portraits: Images published

1981 Magazine OVO, “Photography et littérature,” No. 44/45, Montréal, n.p.

Portraits: Exhibition details

A series of forty-four 28 x 38.5 cm / 11 x 14 inch silver gelatin prints.

Portraits: Press

Portraits: Inquiries

Please contact the artist.