|Joker from Super Flemish by Sacha Goldberg (2014)|
French Photographer Sacha Goldberg has a brilliant and discerning eye that seems to be capable of cutting through the traditional understanding of what a subject is supposed to represent and instead focuses on the inner core of the subject. In the Super Flemish series he has used the traditional Flemish style of portraiture that dominated the 17th century to expose the underlying nature of these larger-than-life, fictional figures.
Of the series none captured my imagination more than this beautiful Joker. Like each of the other portraits in the series there is a sense that the Joker's real essence has been captured in a way that doesn't leave him a cartoonish oversimplification bereft of depth or meaning for the wider world. Instead everything about him carries a weight that keeps bring your attention back to him. His eyes burn past the artist. His hair hangs in stringy strands as though the effort of pulling them back were simply too much for him at this point. His posture both shows an attentive eye towards what he's supposed to be doing (his shoulders and hands) and a complete rejection of that tradition (his lower body slung over the edge of the chair). Just a brilliant piece of work and I can't wait to see more from Sacha Goldberg in the future.