After Sargent by Lydia Panas

001_ Maria and Corinne

All artists are haunted by specific themes, and mine are about loss and longing. Taking pictures satisfies a need for connecting and intimacy that does not have to bend. Making art is about understanding the connections that bond us. 

It is about being loved, with a risk of failure.  The portraits in this series describe the figure in front of the lens, and a moment of recognition.  They incorporate a spectrum of emotions, and although not specific, articulate impressions otherwise difficult to express.

When I make a portrait, I watch to see something I recognize.  Often it is a feeling left over from my past.  It may be something I long for, or something that helps me connect. Making portraits helps to satisfy my curiosity and re-create what I did not realize in my early years, a reality hidden from me that I was desperate to comprehend.  In the words of Richard Avedon, “For a moment, it becomes possible to understand each other perfectly.”

Last summer, after visiting the John Singer Sargent rooms in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I was moved by Sargent’s attention to the spirit of his models and his response to them.  I saw in Sargent’s paintings a connection to his models that surpassed the superficial and external façade of the person in front of him. I recognized his empathy and how essential this is to my own photographic process.  The visit inspired me to begin this series of portraits.

I want to describe some kind of truth – both beautiful and sad – of who we are, how we feel, and how we project these emotional states.  I want to describe the hope that resides within this exposure. [Official Website]

002_Shaylin 003_Ana (Red Fabric) 004_Casey & Emily 005_Brittany 006_Margot 007_Martha 008_Ricardo & Martha 009_Pana 010_Pana (far) 011_Claire & Sonia 012_Tia Angela 013_Christine & Amy 014_Reanna (outside) 015_Reanna 016_Carmen 017_Ilene 018_Kristina (green 020_Sally & Sawyer




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