Reinventing the Victorian Portrait Parlor

Having been a big collecting fan of 19th century studio portraits, I thought it would be interesting to take on the genre and see if I could manipulate the conventions and subvert them while preserving enough visual continuity that you could visually trace the lineage. Here are my first two efforts. I chose diptychs of my models nude and clothed to inaugurate the series; placing the nude image to the left means the nude reads first in a western left-right reading order, giving primacy of meaning, a naturalness, to the nude, which conflicts with conventional social notions of the nude as an un-natural state. It questions the construction of identity through the construction of the clothed figure. I have printed them in palladium, again, to reinforce the stylistic referent to the Victorian era studio portrait through the look and feel of the image tone. Granted the vintage originals would have been printed in albumen, but this is certainly close enough.

Luis, Diptych
Luis, Diptych
Sam K, Conversation with a Lamp
Sam K, Conversation with a Lamp

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