There is no other side behind the mirror
2018 © Coco Martin
The perception of a portrait may rely on a shallow epidermic view of the other floating on. Technically speaking, it might only be defined as a group of shadows, a light touching some skin, an eye contact, a cloth or an angled view playing along with elements into our subject trying to discover something. We are always ready to hear some explicit significance. If we are insanely strict it would be a fake attempt of visual scrutiny. It can have as many meanings as viewers; and all of them maybe different.
Under my view, it is an idealistic task the attempt to build up someone’s identity through portraiture. This would give too much attribution and power to any photographer or painter, and it’s valid to maybe think that the artist’s ability wouldn’t go that far. Yet the closest and authorized person to interpret the result might be the sitter.
They can see, through someone else’s viewfinder, something they don’t know about themselves, confirm their acceptance or simply reject their bi-dimensional depiction.
But where this idealization of a deeper representation comes from?
There is a good chance this may come from an elevated understanding we all have as human beings about our own nature. We refuse to stop fantasizing and to imagine is an entertaining duty that our relaxed brain loves.
Our portrait (or self portraits or selfies) becomes merely functional and aim to please us for a moment. Suddenly is an object of consumption and is also a statement of positivism. A happy allegory that we own
“After all Photography is a beautiful lie; but keep breathing and hoping.”
Sheila in her mirror | Circa 2000 © Coco Martin
Shot on film 35 mm Tri-XPan