The ability of the photographic portrait to encapsulate a sitter’s personality in a single definitive image is questioned in a new book of Double Portraits by Christoph Klauke
Klauke’s book presents a series of these so-called Double Portraits in three chapters, taken over the course of several years in London, New York and California. In each, the image on the left was composed by Klauke using his 10 x 8 camera. After taking the first shot, Klauke waits for several seconds while the sitter attempts to maintain his or her pose, inevitably shifting position or expression. He then takes the second image.
The pairs of images are subtly but noticeably different – one formal and controlled, the other revealing perhaps a little more of the reality of the sitter or a sense of them when they are slightly less guarded.
None of the portraits are captioned on the page but readers will recognise Mark E Smith, David Adjaye and Zadie Smith above.
56 of the images are presented in the self-published book in a limited edition of 750 copies priced at £45. The book will be launched at Claire De Rouen Books in London in September, details here
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