A Portrait (Selection from)
In the early 1980s, I created this series of very direct black and white portraits of my peers – fellow artists, writers, junkies and the like. Moving into an old warehouse come daylight studio, I sought to make a series that pared portraiture back to a sort of bare essence. I had long been intrigued by early nineteenth-century photographic portraiture: the slow exposure times back then seemed to dictate a formal but very engaged look back to the camera. And this fascinated me. So I set about making this work – creating a quiet, still environment that helped me concentrate on this engaged gaze.