Smile for the camera….One of the great things about walking in London, even in the rain, is suddenly you discover something you’ve never seen before. In a street of mews houses and studios, Bourdon Place near Berkeley Square, a passing shopper stumbles across the photographer Terence Donovan photographing the model Twiggy close to his studios in 1960′s Mayfair in the bronze sculptures ‘Three Figures’ by Neal French (2012).
Smile for the artist….Just round the corner Claire Tabouret’s portraits were on show at the Almine Rech Gallery leading us to explore some of the difficult decisions that a portrait artist must make. There are so many different decisions: how much of the sitter’s true nature do you show?; how much do you flatter the subject?; how much do you touch up that imperfect wrinkle or spot?, what is the best background colour for the sitter?; what are the best clothes to represent the character of the portrait?, and many, many, more….. It’s a tough life being a portrait painter.
French artist Claire Tabouret, born 1981 and now living in Los Angeles, hedges her bets by, a little like Andy Warhol with his screen-prints, taking the same subject and repeating the image in a variety of differently-coloured settings, in the process sometimes losing some of the colour definition, and at other times changing the clothes or placing the sitter back in time into a French colonial environment. It is almost a scientific experiment. Portraits create a relationship between the sitter and the artist. When viewing this exhibition, you are left wondering which of the images the different sitters felt most represented them.