Because The Night
I met Wendy Paton several years ago at a portfolio review weekend. Her portfolio of black and white nocturnal portraits immediately impressed me. The images were consistently strong and possessed a decidedly gutsy execution. They were rendered with black blacks, white whites, and a smattering of grainy grays in between.
I am overjoyed to see the work in print in Wendy’s new book, Visages de Nuit. The book is beautifully designed and produced and presents the images in a manner that accurately reflects the boldness of the original prints. The text by Simon Van Booy, Karen Sinsheimer, and Xavier Canonne describe Wendy’s photos in an eloquent manner.
Wendy’s images bring me back many years. In my 20s, I walked Boston’s streets and hung out in small rock clubs (most often at night) fixated on its alternative music culture. The nocturnal characters I saw were not the stylish figures that inhabit Wendy’s images, but the beautifully cruel ambience of the city at night sure is.
From Wendy Paton’s website:
VISAGES DE NUIT IS A PORTFOLIO OF WORK CONSISTING OF A SERIES OF BLACK AND WHITE CANDID, NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES THAT ARE INTENDED TO PROVOKE COMPELLING, MYSTERIOUS EMOTIONS OF UNCERTAINTY.
INTRIGUED BY THE ABSTRUSE AND EVER-CHANGING NATURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITIES AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL CHOICES OF EXPRESSION, I CHOOSE TO PHOTOGRAPH AT NIGHT. THERE AMIDST THE OBSCURE CACOPHONY OF LIFE IN VARIED SETTINGS, I ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE THE MANY LAYERS OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY; HOW IN THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT WE EITHER ATTEMPT TO COVER UP, OR ALLOW THE LAYERS TO BE PEELED BACK AND EXPOSE THE EMOTIONS WITHIN. THE IMAGES’ DARK, GRITTY CHARACTERISTICS PURPOSELY CONVEY THE SURREAL QUALITIES OF WHAT I FEEL IS HIDING BEHIND WHAT WE NORMALLY VIEW AS REALITY.
Just the Facts:
Visages de Nuit
Published by kehrer
Hardcover with dust jacket
9 ½” x 11 ½”
51 tritone images
English / French
Photograph above left and below: Lips