Thursday, October 8, 2015

Photographers whose work I like - No28/ Lydia Panas


American photographer Lydia Panas makes pictures with a rich conceptual and visual intensity. Her particular gift is an ability to make portraits that rise above the usual clichéd seen it all before variety. Her color palette is almost gothic, dark and mysterious. The work perplexes and fascinates drawing you in, there is an almost urgent need to know more about her subjects.

Joerg Colberg has this to say: What I would really like to stress is the visual richness of the work and the connections these group portraits force upon the viewer.  They will pull you in, whether you want it or not, and that certainly is something that any photographer can only wish for. The work is also intensely beautiful.

And Panas talks about her process: There is almost nothing I would rather do than look at someone through the lens of my camera. It's hard to describe what it feels like, a seduction of sorts or a way of getting close. It's got something to do with desire.  We see one another and we don't have to speak or smile. The photograph is a record of our connection; intimate, intense and very present.

Below is a selection of photographs from the series The Mark of Abel. The work was made between 2005 and 2006 and published by Kehrer in 2011. The book is a hardcover edition, 96 pages with 52 images. Readily available on Amazon or Book Depository.

A word about The Mark of Abel -  after twenty years of working exclusively in black and white photography, mostly with her own children, Lydia began inviting people with whom she was less intimate, to her farm in Pennsylvania, to see what difference this might bring to her work. Some of the models are family, some are friends, some are people she knew less intimately. She asked them to bring along their own family members or close friends, people with whom they shared a history. Panas found that with the camera, she was free to watch and capture a sense of the connections between people, those unclear feelings that exist between us. Those moments we feel, yet are so difficult to describe in our connections with others.

You can see more of Lydia Panas's work on her website HERE.

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