“My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.” – Richard Avedon
With only eight portraits captured by Michael Halsband’s thirty-year old Deardorff 8 X 10 camera, this was the featured works for his second exhibition at Lost Weekend NYC on Orchard Street. Previously the store featured his SURF series with photography and a film on continuous loop. The faces he captured include cult figures from surfing, skateboarding, and DJ’s. It is easy to deduce that Halsband did not have any theme in mind. His whole idea was to celebrate the process of photography itself. There is a genuine intent of giving his subjects a great portrait but doesn’t link to a common thread or mood as most photographers tend to categorize their work. It’s not about being lost in thought, moments of brevity, hidden anguish, or stark naked realism. Halsband decides to capture what he feels is of the moment then he moves on.
People are complex creatures and individual as the clothes they put on their back. Halsband honors that diversity and feeling by not thinking about the subjects he is taking pictures of but lets it unfold organically. Faces are a rich tapestry of stories and truths. Halsband would rather let the camera capture what it can at a certain moment. Therein lies the elusive art of photography when the image transcends beyond what we see and something else comes through. However the basic element of truth must remain. Halsband lets his deft treatment and camera skills do the talking. No overt gimmicks or forced techniques here.
Lost Weekend NYC is the appropriate place to showcase Halsband’s work. The store was conceptualized on the mundane pleasures we lose if we choose not to spend our weekends leisurely. Halsband captures the life of those reclaiming their weekends like surfers trekking to the beaches to ride the perfect wave, skateboarders trashing it at a park, and the DJ’s spinning all weekend till the break of dawn. If for a quick moment that Halsband could freeze that in a portrait then you can truly relish in them from the eight works on display. Establishing a connection from camera to subject takes years to hone and that’s what all photographers strive for – a real connection that speaks the truth eloquently.
Connections, an exhibition of 20 more 8 X 10 portraits by Halsband is on display at The Madarin’s Tea Room in Soho, New York.
Michael Halsband: 8 X 10
Lost Weekend NYC
Store Hours: Monday to Sunday (8:00 am – 8:00 pm)
45 Orchard Street. New York, NY 10002
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
event photos by: Deukyun Hwang