Furthermore, James Eckersley works within the genre conventions of portraiture, whereas a photographer named Thomas Ruff transgresses the boundaries of the generally accepted characteristics of portraiture as a genre of photography. The German artist Thomas ruff’s photographs document what is in front of his camera, his series of emotionally uninflected portraits 1981 made his name while studying at the only art academy ‘Dusseldorf’ at that time with a photography class. These set of passport like images are what makes him oppose the characteristics of portraiture.
‘I believe that photography can only reproduce the surface of things. The same applies to a portrait. I take photos of people the same way I would take photos of a plaster bust’…show more content… The fact that the banishment of a smile and the fixed lighting conditions he uses puts the sitters in his portraits in an equal position. ‘When I made the portraits I thought, “We are all even, equal, nobody is more important than anybody else, and at the same time everybody is unique.” I wanted to treat all my friends equally, but I was conscious that every one of my friends is unique. Twenty years ago I said photography can only capture the surface of things. It cannot go beyond the skin of a person.’ (Thomas Ruff). This powerful approach of a passport like image shows the person in a photographic different light, the viewer is left with a simple, unaffected image of a young person, anonymous to us, but known to him, he transgresses against the four key elements that form the rhetoric of a portraiture ‘the face, pose, clothing and…show more content… These instructions effect the expressions we see. Images of young people who are looking part serious and part mysterious; they show everything yet reveal nothing. The pose of the sitter is face on, framed only as head and shoulders, looking directly into the camera with an intense gaze. The portraits are formal to a fault and identify no more than an age group; they assume the neutrality of a mug shot or identity card. The sitter is isolated against the background, he uses dominating colour in the background shot in the studio, we have no sense of identity such as strength of weakness from the pose and the location does not set the scene for the sitter, everything is just plain and simple. The clothes show no indication about the person e.g. wealth, they only allow us to see slight matters of grooming, dress and makeup to suggest a period or occasion. We have no insight about this person’s character, history or