Dek Unu Magazine - Rachel Portesi

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Published by:
Dek Unu Arts
Square / 8" x 8"
38 pages Perfect-bound
alt-process photography, Analog Photography, coiffure, conceptual photography, Feminism, fine art photography, TINTYPE, Wet Plate collodion

Rachel Portesi's “Hair Portraits” are reminders of the historical role of coiffure as a social signifier communicating everything from age, income, religion, nationality, and marital status to deeply-personal messages about self-image, attitude toward authority, and, sometimes, appetite for adventure! These are adventurous artworks, the unpredictable nature of the wet plate collodion process, and the demands of the time and engineering required to execute Portesi’s portraits, make each image’s appearance in the fixer a surprise, a delight or a disappointment, but Rachel relishes the challenge. Unlike relatively forgiving digital photography, the tintype is one-and-done, the “magical” result is always unique and finished in the final rinse. Her models, "dressed" only in hair, flowers, twigs, and vines, are extraordinary, architected, distinctly feminine symbols of patience, wisdom, strength, and creativity.

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Dek Unu Magazine - Rachel Portesi

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