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Michael Drakopoulos: Me – Three
October 28 - November 27FREE
At some point during their career photographers may realise that vintage photos have more atmosphere than their own photographs, no matter how much work they put into them. This is even more true so for portraits. The reason is a unique characteristic of the photographic artform. It is not the vintage look, the worn paper or the appearance of the sitter which is creating this aura. A different sort of magic is taking place here.
The photo was created when for a short moment in time – fractions of a second – the photographer and the sitter connected through the workings of the camera and the medium inside which records the image. Today, looking at that image we are peeking back in time to that one brief moment and we can feel the presence of both the sitter and the photographer. No other artform can give us this mysterious sentiment. Portraiture painting can present us with wonderful images of people, but there is not the same defined moment of connection between painter and model in them. This magical link was created through the mechanistic and crude photographic process, compared to painting.
The machine-like camera removes the mind of the photographer during the exposure and replaces it with its own technical idea of the picture. This enables the magic to happen and to become visible every time we look at the photo with our eyes open.
Of course, for a photographer this poses a difficult dilemma: Presenting his or her images as their creator that subtle balance of connection gets disturbed, and the magic won’t happen. As long as the photographer is present, time will not have her chance to throw the delicate gaze of a gilded moment over that photograph – no matter how beautiful it may be.
In my show ‘Me – Three’ I try to get a grip on this dilemma – an impossible task, for sure. I have only creatively started with this theme recently, after I found a box with mesmerizing brownie photos of a young lady in a vintage shop somewhere on Long Island. I don’t know where I am going with this, but I hope to carry on and reach towards this gilded gaze – the photographer’s version of the golden fleece – if you wish.