These images are from ‘Transfigurations,’ the result of a collaboration between London-based American photographer Richard Bram and painter Silvia Willkens of Mainz, Germany.
Utilising Willkens’ paintings, inspired by the faces in Early Renaissance masters such as Giotto and della Francesca, Bram and Willkens used the paintings as masks, the identity of the flesh-and-blood model merging with the painted image. The resulting photographs made over several years move forward and back through time and through the picture plane, between real and imagined personæ, theme and variations in a visual fugue. All the work is done in-camera, without digital manipulation or collage.
I had the good fortune to meet Richard Bram during the Rhubarb-Rhubarb Photography Festival in Birmingham, UK in July 2007. We met again, later that same day, to talk some more about this work. You can listen to excerpts from our conversation in this 7-minute audio interview for Lens Culture.
— Jim Casper
Everything is a mystery in this novel-length nearly wordless artist's book by— and there is probably no unraveling the mystery except to experience it with pleasure. An incongruous sequence of black-and-white images seem like perfectly placed notes in a pleasingly discordant silent symphony.