Since all my major books and projects have been portraiture, I was especially pleased to have my portrait of Fumiko Nakamura in the exhibition “Portraiture” at the PH21 Gallery in Budapest.
Portraiture emerged as one of the most prominent genres of depictive media early in the history of the visual arts, and the tacit or explicit rules, conventions and cultural expectations have always influenced the ways by which artists approached the genre. Photography is no exception; numerous different and characteristic styles of portraiture emerged throughout the history of the medium. Today we live in an exciting new era for portraiture. There has never been a time in human history when so many portraits were produced day after day as in the era of digital technologies. Photographers have responded to the cultural, social and technological changes by reinterpreting the age-old genre of portraiture, and it is always an exciting and rewarding task to organize an exhibition for some of the recent achievements in the field.
I met Fumiko Nakamura through Okinawa Women Act Against [US] Military Violence while working on my Women of Japan suite. She was a filmmaker and peace activist who retired after 40 years as a school teacher to found the non-profit Ichi Feet to document the horrors of the battle of Okinawa and the subsequent suffering.
The photos in the PH21 exhibition are exceptional both in the variety of the images and the very different concepts of portraiture. The choice between them was really impossible. I very much like the images below and would strongly recommend that you see the whole show.
“Post No Bills” – Ruben Natal, San Miguel
“Joyful Vision” – Mara Zaslove, from series “Lifecycle”
“Sunday, 14 February – South Harlem, New York City” – Jonathan David Smyth, from series “Just One More”
“Me and Myself ” – Elena Santucci