Image by Enrique Badulescu.
Image by Camilla Akrans.
It is Man Ray’s iconic 1929 portrait of Lee Miller that first stirred our curiosity for solarisation: this original technique, which involves the whole or partial reversal of a photograph’s tone, is used in ways that gives an image not simply an uncanny resemblance to a sketchbook illustration, but also a somehow refined and deepened meaning.
Following months of international acclaim, Man Ray’s legendary exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery finally closed its doors. We at TCD want to prolong the experience of appreciating the photographer’s innovative use of solarisation; that is why, following the aesthetic of some of his signature portraits, we were keen to make ‘solarisation’ the feature of this very post.
The images we have selected by photographers Enrique Badulescu and Camilla Akrans show just how interesting the use of solarisation can be, as it gives their work a strong edge and serves to bring out the textures, lines and light contained within each of them. Badulescu’s application of the technique heightens his work’s fierce nature, whilst Akrans’s black and white portrait is transformed into a classic and glamorous masterpiece.