5 Phases of Michael Woods

5 portraits here that show a new approach to portraiture and the environment. I am engaged simultaneously in a project to capture every view I can of Trellick Tower (‘Au Tour de Trellick’) and develop a new way to make portraits of people.

I am constantly perplexed by the strength of feeling that I feel for ‘incomplete’ images, whether my own or other people’s. The malcomposed image with a face jutting into the corner has more emotional power for me than the perfect portrait.

I think it has something to do with the narrative power of images, in that classically/technically perfect portraits which enable us to engage with the shape, texture and environment of the subject ‘dictate’ something to us which we receive in a ‘reactive’ mode. In other words our perception of the human in the photograph (this applies to painting as well) is prescribed rather than intuited.

In this new approach I am hoping to provoke a response from the viewer’s deeper psyche rather than their ‘head’. I believe that this is where the true human connection to imagery is most deeply felt.

Alex Schneideman March 2014, London

2 thoughts on “5 Phases of Michael Woods”

  1. I love your vision, Alex, so eloquently explained in the text. I know my octogenarian friend Margery Clarke, tutee and long-term friend of Lowry, would agree with you. Her paintings are hardly ever sharply focussed, yet have the emotional power that you speak of. The viewer has to do some work.

  2. Thank you Derrick. I immediately googled MC. She is a wonderful artist. A real connection with her subject – I think this one of the things which separates talents; those who dive into and revel in the detail of their work and subject and those for whom form and style are everything.

    I was amazed, also, to see in the list of images my portrait of you. Then discovered that you had posted it in the same post in which you wrote about Margery. That’s what you might call a Google circle…

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