The Extended Portrait
Alfred Stieglitz, one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, argued that “to demand the [single] portrait . . . be a complete portrait of any person is as futile as to demand that a motion picture be condensed into a single still.” Stieglitz’s conviction that a person’s character could not be adequately conveyed in one image is consistent with a modern understanding of identity as constantly changing. For Stieglitz, who frequently made numerous portraits of the same sitters — including striking photographs of his wife, the painter Georgia O’Keeffe — using the camera in a serial manner allowed him to transcend the limits of a single image.
~ Ksenya Gurshtein, Introduction to the exhibition The Serial Portrait, Photography and Identity in the last One Hundred Years at National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2012.
The extended or serial portrait has a rich tradition in the history of photography. This will be a lecture and critique based class for those interested in exploring the photographic possibilities of a long term portrait project. Whether photographing your family or a stranger, we’ll discuss the dynamics and ethics of the relationship between photographer and sitter, study the history of the extended portrait, and thoughtful critique will guide students in creating a cohesive vision for their own work.
About the instructor: Suzanne Revy
Suzanne Révy grew up in Los Angeles, California. After high school she moved to Brooklyn, NY where she earned a BFA in photography from the Pratt Institute. While there, she was immersed in making and printing black and white photographs. After art school, she worked as a photography editor in magazine publishing at U.S.News & World Report and later at Yankee Magazine. With the arrival of two sons, she left publishing, and rekindled her interest in the darkroom. She photographed her boys, their cousins and friends, and built three portfolios of pictures over a fifteen year period. The first, a black and white series, explored the culture and nature of childhood play. The second, made with a lo-fi plastic camera and color film, represents her own emotional response as mother and witness to their growth and development. The third, a series of color pictures made in her home as her teen sons seemed to retreat into their rooms as she studied for her recently earned MFA at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Her work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, MA, the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA, the Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, NE, the Camera Club of NY in NewYork City, the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH, and the New England School of Photography in Boston. Her work is represented by the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA.
To see more of Suzanne’s work, please visit: