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Rob Tennent


Rob Tennent, a selection of images from his body of works.

Q: When making an image, are you aware of it as if it is a public image?

A: When it comes to film photography, unless I am developing, scanning and printing it myself, it has become a public image. Once taken by me, it travels to a lab where it gets developed and scanned so it has already been through a few sets of eyes. There have been many times when images feel more private and that is when I chose to keep them to myself and develop them myself. Once it is shared, the viewer has the power to interpret it through their eyes.

Q: How do different mediums affect the portrayal of a self-portrait?

A: Different mediums allow you to express emotions differently. A painter's brush is very different to a sculptor's hands. Photography allows you to capture real-life moments that may or may not last. There are limits to photography that aren’t there with other mediums. It is all subjective and depends on the artist.

Q: Do you hope that the person portrayed will eventually identify with your portrait?

A: I dream of revealing a side to someone that they have not seen. The way we view others is different to how they view themselves, so when I get the chance to show the beauty I see in someone, it’s an irreplaceable feeling.

Q: Is a portrait a performance?

A: It certainly can be. A portrait is the documentation of the current moment, however you would like it to be perceived. I have had many moments in fashion where I am dressed and styled in clothes to perform. There are other times when I have been stripped back and exposed myself to raw and real nature.

Q: When is a portrait image interesting for you?

A: When a subject that is rarely shown in a certain light, is shown in that light. I enjoy celebrities at their raw and real self. I enjoy mothers at home as well as mothers dressed up for a night out. I enjoy drag queens getting out of drag, bodybuilders with their grandmas, and so many other unique everyday things that cameras rarely capture. There is so much beauty in what seems to be mundane to that person.


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