It goes without saying that artists and photographers alike have always been fascinated by the human form, and I often wonder about the nameless faces captured by camera and displayed for the world to see. I must admit it sometimes unsettles me slightly, wondering do they know they will be on some form of display, their likeness forever preserved in the pages of a book or as a mounted image hung on the wall. My mind is full of questions… who are they, what are their day to day lives like, their hopes and dreams? But at the same time I can’t help but be drawn to images portrayed, fascinated by the diversity of what defines human life and beauty, and when I came across the subjects depicted in Dutch photographer, Mario Gerth’s African Portraits collection, I mean wow… what can I say, I had to pause… my goodness the word beautiful doesn’t seem to be enough to describe them but that is what they are; portraits capturing the grace and beauty of African people resplendent in tribal dress in what is a sensitive study of the culture and diversity to be found across the continent. Developed in black and white, sepia and colour I saw the striking African portraits collection profiled on African Digital Art, and having only chosen a few, I would encourage you to click on the links in additional details below to see the rest.
[Image sources: African Portraits by Mario Gerth via African Digital Art]
[Image source African Portrait by Mario Gerth via Flickr]
Aside from the natural physical beauty, dignity and grace, it is the eyes that I keep focusing on, the subjects looking straight into the camera as if knowing they are being watched and daring the viewer to really look at them, to look past the usual stereotypes and see them for who they are, dignified, creative, strong, individual and rich in culture.
[Image sources: African Portraits by Mario Gerth via top, jadedid and bottom, faces of the earth; tumblr]
…simply stunning Portraits collection showcasing the beauty of people across the continent.
Atelier Fifty Five is an inspirational design and lifestyle resource, that shines the spotlight on contemporary design from and inspired by Africa.