Exercise: Paul Close

Look at Paul Close’s environmental portraits. Analyse his visual style and consider whether the images work as documentary photographs and , if so , why.

The Snakebox Odyssey

A series of portraits taken on his solo motorbike travels across the Sahara and Africa . His subjects stand against a plain white backdrop whilst surrounded all around by their environment , an interesting concept that I like very much. Each of his subjects were asked the same question “is there one thing that could make your life better ?” , the replies are captioned alongside the images.

What particularly strikes me about the framing of the images is how each subject is isolated from the surrounding landscape that shapes their lives yet still remain a part of it . I feel this concept initially allows the viewer to look at and consider each person as a unique individual , someone with aspirations for a better future, and with whom the viewer can empathise with , we all have dreams.

I believe they work as documentary photographs , each subject is given a ‘voice’ . The are far removed from the stereotypical holiday images that are a result of the tourist gaze , they reveal and tell us so much more .

Accessed 25/6/15

Accessed 25/6/15

Accessed 25/6/15

3 thoughts on “Exercise: Paul Close

  1. schirgwin

    The Snakebox pictures are fabulous – almost like live versions of the collaged presentations that have caught my eye at a couple of exhibitions this year (the overlaid, found images on new pictures of the place they were found or taken in the Ponte Tower Exhibit at the Photographer’s gallery or the work on refugees in D R Congo by Jim Goldberg and Kamel Khelif at Tate Modern for Time – Conflict – Photography). The portable white background almost seems to be the equivalent of an arrow or a pointing finger. Just brilliant! I’ll go back and look at them again. And again.

    Liked by 1 person


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