Before photography, only the wealthy could afford to have a formal portrait painted. With the invention and mainstreaming of photography, portraits became more accessible to everyone, as did the style of the portrait. Though the creation of portraiture has changed over the decades, what makes a successful portrait—an image that expresses both the outer and inner beauty of the subject—has not.
European Portrait Photography since 1990 (Prestel) released earlier this year, takes a look at the different types of portraiture photographers have made in the last twenty-five years. It also serves as a cultural study of how these photographers define a “European.” “Noboby feels simply European,” writes Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in the book’s forward. “It is one layer in a complex whole. People remain attached to their native village or city, to a region, a country or a wider geographical area.
This large-format, 240-page book, includes full-page reproductions of images by Rineke Dijkstra, Juergen Teller [Slide 6], Thomas Ruff [Slide 4], Anders Petersen, Clare Strand and Tina Barney [Slide 5].
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