pinhole photography

Photo: Max de Esteban


Photography from Max de Esteban

On display in FotoQuartier during February will be a selection of photographs from the series ‘Elegies of Manumission’ by the Spanish photographer Max de Esteban. The exhibition combines the outcome of three projects which through portraiture deal with social and political issues.

In ‘Elegies of Manumission’ Max de Esteban questions the legitimacy of portraiture in the advent of modernity. With these controversies in mind de Esteban better defines his work as “anti-portraiture” as he represents not an individuality but an embodiment of ideas.

The three projects that form Elegies are: 'Vertige', 'Private Utopias' and 'On the Uncertainty of Being'.


“These images depart from the expressionless, flat-lighting portraiture that still dominates today’s fine-art production and that, to my belief, is thoroughly exhausted” states the phographer. Instead de Esteban’s photography references early Baroque portraiture painting and the work of artists such as Caravaggio (1571-1610), in which realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, is combined with dramatic use of lighting and contrast between light and dark.

In the photography of Max de Esteban many challenging topics are explored. From a contemporary look at the construction of identity and gender in youth, to private desires, imaginary identities and the exposure of our dreams and fantasies, questioning what radical new vehicles our society has developed to avoid reality. He also examines the role artists play in todays difficult world where most artists are struggle to become commercially successful.

Depicted in de Esteban’s photographs are artists with whom he builds a unique relationship, resulting from this are intimate images showing a sphere of individuality and rebellion against mainstream values. Portrayed in these photographs are unconventional dress codes, tattoos, piercings and other post-romantic symbology. He explains ”Our personal relationship and long shooting sessions allowed me to portray them pensive and dreamy, conveying a sense of loneliness and emotional tension. Nameless, isolated, self-obsessed and beautifully decadent, these images hint perhaps at a contemporary return to the romantic experience.”  







Photography Exhibition in the FotoQuartier
Schlössl Kino, Margaretenstraße 127, 1050 Vienna

Opening: Friday 15th February 2013, 8pm

Opening Hours: 18th February - 28th February 2013
Monday to Thursday: 4 pm - 6pm


Admission free

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