MAGAZINE // ARTISTS


ken collins.jpg

STORYTELLER OF SOULS

In Ken Collins portrait photography, which is what we shall call it in absence of a better word, eyes really are a window to the soul and the unmasked faces speak volumes. Where he goes with a camera, extracting and distilling the very true and bare self of the portrayed individual, all the while maintaining a constantly high level of aesthetic artistry, is such an  intimate and  maybe uncomfortable place than many of us would not even let close friends in.

How he manages to be allowed to come so close and show so much of what is underneath his subjects skin, is and shall stay his secret, but it is extraordinary in its essence. Viewing his images, one feel as if there is no barrier, no paper, glass, camera and lens between the audience and the faces on the picture.

One falls through their eyes and expression right into the inner world of the individuals, sittings skin on skin with them, sharing and disturbing at once the very personal moment the artist only had been invited to join or maybe even forced his way into.
Its compelling pieces of art, graceful and sophisticated in their artistic approach, almost disturbing and awkward in their subliminal intrusion of the inner privacy of the subjects, but all the more irresistible exactly for this reason.

pl. personas, The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; ones public image or personality, as distinguished from the inner self.

There are limitations of art to capture certain human experiences, “oneness”, between two people to merge with another can never truly be satisfied.


My work is driven by conflicting experiences of psychological discomfort and visual fascination. I seek to inspire prolonged viewing that invites contradictory readings and perceptions of what is typically seen. Seeing past or through surfaces beyond the literal representation of perceived reality. I isolate and depict the particular quality and essence of something or someone. The dialog begins between the photographic representation and the visual experience, the experience of something and the illusion…what is seen and the perception of how things are revealed photographically.

 

                SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2009        “Face to Face: Portraits in Theater and Photography, New Dramatist, NY, NY
2009        “Portraits of American Playwrights”, Umbrage Gallery, Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY
2008        “Portraits of American Playwrights”, Library of Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, NYC
2005        “River Meditation”, Gitterman Gallery, NY, NY

                 SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014         “Stories In The Social Landscape”, International Center of Photography, NY, NY
2011         “The Conceptual Image”, Lishui Museum of Photography, China
2011         “Dividing Light Measuring Darkness”, Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ
2006         “River Meditation”, Paris Photo, Paris, France
2002         “Juried Exhibition” Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY

                 PUBLICATIONS

2011          “American Playwrights, After the Fall, series, B&W magazine
2011          “After the Fall”, series Lenswork Magazine, December Issue 
2010          “Nature Morte”, series, Lenswork Magazine December Issue

                  BOOKS

2006           “In Their Company, Portraits of American Playwrights” Umbrage Books”

                  LECTURES

2009          Panelist, “Face to Face: Portraits in the Theater and Photography
                  with Adam Rapp, Kia Corthron, and Lisa Kron, New Dramatists, NYC 

                  AWARDS

2007           “In Their Company, Portraits of American Playwrights, Umbrage Books NYC
                   Awarded Silver Medal from Independent Publishers Association
2002           “Best in Show” Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY

                   TEACHING

2002-Present     International Center of Photography, NY, NY
2005-Present     Nassau Community college, Garden City, NY
2009-2013         3rd Ward, Brooklyn, NY
2005-2007         Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, NY

                   EDUCATION

1981           Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, BFA Photography