Friday, May 25, 2007

Face: the new photographic portrait

260 images – some candid, some posed, some digitally altered. Portraits of the dead, pictures of babies just delivered from the birth canal. Grainy, blurry, overexposed, beautiful. Faces without eyes or mouths, male and female blended together, eyes held open, eyes sewn shut. The images in Face: the new photographic portrait, by William Ewing, are always compelling and often disturbing – especially the digitally altered images. They appear real and your eye accepts them, but there is something just wrong enough to make you uneasy. As a society (and a species) we rely so heavily on the evidence of our eyes and the way things look that when that visual reality is altered in any way it’s very unsettling. The entire book is fascinating, and it’s hard not to look at every single photograph and image multiple times in one sitting.

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