Gerardo Vizmanos, "Face" (26x30 inches), "Leg" (11x14 inches), "Head" (16x20 inches), "Night" (11x14 inches), "Chair " (16x20 inches), "Hand" (11x14 inches)
Q: Is a portrait a performance?
A: Not necessarily, but very often portraits are a performance. With a portrait, an artist can address a person's individual characteristics through the observation of manners, movement, or even the location where this person is. In the execution of this work, the artist can make choices or performative actions that will have a clear impact on the final image. Making a portrait is not about documenting a truth but about creating an independent image.
Q: Does being unclothed naturally give sexual connotations to a person in a portrait?
A: I think this depends on the beholder and on what we understand by “sexual”, but I don’t think an image is sexual because a nude body is represented. In a broad sense of the word, any image - with a person clothed or unclothed - can be sexual, but I don´t think the exposure of an unclothed body has sexual implications other than the ones inherent in the beholder.
Q: Does a true portrait seek to idealise the potential of a figure, or represent that figure in a fuller, more realistic light?
A: A portrait can be the product of observation or the product of our imagination: it can connect ideas about the character, circumstances, or appearance of the subject that are imaginary. Both the imaginary and the observed elements within a portrait can relate to the same truth.
Q: Is there something you always embrace in yourself when making a portrait image?
A: I can see myself in any image I take. The presence of emotions and experiences that I recognize as part of me can make any image part of myself.
Q: Is contextualization necessary to understand a true (self) portrait?