The Photographic Portrait: Artistic Expression, Captured Humanity, Arrested Experience Open Access

Lucaciu, Loli (2017)

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The Photographic Portrait: Artistic Expression, Captured Humanity, Arrested Experience

By Florina Lucaciu

In "The Photographic Portrait: Artistic Expression, Captured Humanity, Arrested Experience," I examine portrait photography as placed at the nexus of art theory, practice, and bodily presence in art. My thesis discusses the roles that the photographic portrait has played in the history of how we conceive of aesthetics, selfhood, and representation in photography and in art more broadly. Engaging especially with the theoretical work of Walter Benjamin and Susan Sontag, I offer new readings of "street" photography by Vivian Meier, as well as novel interpretation of well-known photographic portraits by Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others. In these discussions, I will focus not only on the details of artworks, but I will also attempt to provide a refreshing take on familiar works and pursue new lines of thinking about their form and their significance. I further contend that the human face is a medium for communication, for expression and for the visualization of a sliver of reality. The paper will look at how two important media platforms -photojournalism and artistic photography - employ the photographic portrait to convey meaning.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter One : Photographic Portraiture in Photojournalism

Chapter Two: Artistic Portrait Photography in the Context of Art and Commerce


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