“En Face” is a portrait work shot inside the National Dance Academy of Rome. It merges my personal point of view as portrait photographer and my passion for dance.
The title of the series refers to a position in classical ballet, “en face”, one where the dancer is facing the audience. In this work I have tried to focus my attention on the classical setting as embedded in the expression of a dancer’s body, beyond the dramatization of gestures or the perfection of movements, even away from the stage or in moments of relax. I use photography, and the portrait in particular, as an expressive tool and medium to investigate emotional dynamics. When making a portrait, you are looking at and describing the other but, at the same time, you are looking inside yourself too. There’s a moment in portrait photography when the subject and the photographer, each with their own life experiences, complete themselves. Later, observers will add their life experiences too. The charm of a meeting point between these three elements pushes me forward in my research.
Paola Serino lives and works in Rome. In 2002 she begins her training at the Ansel Adams photography school in Rome, also attending workshops with Leonard Freed, Michael Ackerman and Anders Petersen. After early works closer to reportage, including the series “Drag Queen,” which received a B&W magazine Portfolio Contest award in 2010, she begins to concentrate mainly on portrait photography. Through her work she is interested in exploring the formal beauty and natural charm of her subjects and at the same time the emotional closeness to them. In 2010 she produces a work in the Rome Dance Academy, which receives a special TPW mention at the FNAC photo talent competition. Her later portrait works win awards and special mentions in several international competitions, including second and third prize at the 2013 Prix de la Photographie Paris and in 2012 second prize at the International Photography Award. Her work has been on show at personal and collective exhibitions since 2005. [Official Website]