Sunday, 11 May 2008

Want to see more of me?

No I don't mean me. I'm talking about the exhibition of that name by Donald MacLellan thats currently showing at the national portrait gallery. I was down there one lunchtime, to see the Vanity Fair Portraits and on the way out I popped into a side room and saw Donald's wonderful portraits of black actors.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I love black skin. I love its richness and sheen and the way it picks up highlights, it just looks great in print. Donald MacLellan's portraits have backgrounds that complement that richness, sometimes in surprising ways. His image of Shaun Parkes was instantly striking with a brown background and brown leather jacket, making Shaun's eyes the very first thing you see. David Harewood's portrait uses a rich orange incandescent background, that works surprisingly well.

The whole collection has a very coherant look even though a variety of lighting techniques have been used. There is much there for a student of light to decipher, from the uplighting of Paul Barber's familiar features, to the soft glowing look of Ashley Walter's portrait and the double striplight catchlights in his eyes.

The show runs until September and unlike the Vanity Fair show, its absolutely free.

No comments:

Post a Comment