I still find myself being fascinated by how the mediums of painting and photography co-mingle. Portraiture is where things really get interesting. I am drawn to photographic portraits that capture an expression on a person’s face or that seem to represent something about the subject’s personality. I like the idea of portraying the unique sensibilities of human beings. Of course their are many other types of photo portraits, but I like those in which I feel some connection with the subject. Painting ,with the advent of photography, largely abandoned portraits which attempted to realistically capture a person on the canvas. Now there seems to be a return to the painted portrait, but they are largely influenced by the photograph. Which makes for some very compelling work. I found this painter’s work recently, Frank Bauer, and it caught my attention. I quite like the nuance of the moment and the expression he has captured. The male gaze is largely absent from these images, the artist is giving these women a voice in the paintings. The history western painting does not have such a good record in the representation of women. Bauer has women who are not fantasies nor are they repulsive. They are women with unique personalities which are evident despite the similarity of their surrounding. My first body of work, was portraits of women, where I also attempted to subvert the male gaze, by allowing the women to photograph themselves after I set up the camera. Or to attempt to create an image which would not be about what they looked like. It is nice to see an artist confronting this issue. I think it is an important and difficult challenge for art makers.

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