Laura Gonzalez


29 Aug 2008

The Sartorialist

The Sartorialist is one of the regular blogs I read/look at. To me Scott Schuman’s work is a real celebration of garments, objects, people and how they construct their identities. His work is astonishing. The close ups, people’s faces, the way they fill in, or not, the clothes they are wearing, their nationality, their beliefs through what they choose… And the backgrounds, of course, where they are located, where they happen to be…There is, of course, also some August Sander in his sociological approach.

Schuman started photographing around 2005, when he had left a high powered job in men’s fashions to take care of his daughter. He learned by photographing his children and afterwards, he began to record outfits worn by people on the streets who captured his imagination. Self-taught and self-reliant, just like one of my favourite film directors, Julio Medem.

And then there are the mistakes, the experiments where something happens, like the one above, where, instead of being a still portrait, it is a moving portrait, but in the same vein than vintage Sartorialist. The same elements I outlined above are relevant but with a little of the unexpected, of the more natural, or the unplanned, un-posed.

Look at the image above, though. It is a one-off moment. Where did that blue envelope come from and how come it is of the same shade than the light behind. Isn’t the lady’s dress just perfect. And the smoking hand framed by the red canopy (a red that offsets the blue)? I could look at this images forever, in the same way I can look at Francesca Woodman’s ‘On Being an Angel’, or my image of the shoe.

There is something about the frame, about the composition, about what is in the frame and what isn’t, what we can imagine, what is chosen not to be shown. I think this is what photography can capture/do than no other medium can.

Posted in Blog, Seductive people, That photo

5 Responses to “The Sartorialist”

  1. belen said:

    hay un libro de Stephen Shore titulado THE NATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHS que seguro te gusta y te interesa,
    yo lo descubrí hace poco , habla del FRAME!

  2. admin said:

    Gracias, preciosa. Esta en mi lista de la biblioteca y a ver si lo puedo coger pronto. Tiene una pinta estupenda y con unas imagenes…

  3. Amaia said:

    Hay alguna posibilidad de leer esta nota en español?
    me interesaría muchísimo!

  4. admin said:

    Hola Amaia, te lo taduzco rapidamente, aunque mi español esta un poco rustico y puede sonar raro. Ahi va:

    El Sartorialist es uno de los blogs que leo/veo habitualmenet. Para mí el trabajo de Scott Schuman es una verdadera celebración de prendas de vestir, objetos, personas y la forma en que construyen sus identidades. Su trabajo es sorprendente. There is, of course, also some August Sander in his sociological approach. La planos cortos, las caras de la gente, la forma en que llenan la imagen, o no, la ropa que llevan, su nacionalidad, sus creencias a través de lo que eligen … Y los fondos, por supuesto, donde se encuentran, donde, por casualidad, sestan … Hay, por supuesto, también algo de August Sander en su enfoque sociológico.

    Schuman comenzó a fotografiar alrededor de 2005, cuando había dejado un trabajo de altos vuelos en moda masculina para de cuidar de su hija. Aprendió la tecnica fotografiando a sus hijos y, posteriormente, comenzó a documentar ropas vestidas por gente anonima en la calle que capturaron su imaginacion. Autodidacta y autosuficiente, igual que uno de mis directores de cine favoritos , Julio Medem.

    Y luego están los errores, los experimentos en los que algo ocurre, como en la foto de arriba, donde, en lugar de ser un retrato quieto, es un retrato en movimiento, pero en la misma vena que el Sartorialist habitual. Los mismos elementos que señalé anteriormente son relevantes aqui, pero con un poco de lo inesperado, de lo natural, de lo imprevisto, el no posado.

    Mira la imagen de arriba. Es un momento unico. Where did that blue envelope come from and how come it is of the same shade than the light behind. ¿De dónde viene ese sobre azul y como es que es de la misma tonalidad que la luz de detras? No es la chica del vestido simplemente perfecta.Y la mano con el cigarrillo enmarcada por el toldo de color rojo (un rojo que compensa al azul)? Podría mirar a esta imágen durante dias, de la misma manera que puedo mirar al “Ser un Angel” de Francesca Woodman, o la imagen de mi zapato.

    Hay algo sobre el encuadre, sobre la composición, sobre lo que está en el marco y lo que no está, lo que podemos imaginar, lo que se ha optado por no ser mostrado. Creo que esto es lo que la fotografía puede capturar / hacer y que ningún otro medio puede.

  5. Recent Links Tagged With "nationality" - JabberTags said:

    […] public links >> nationality what Nationality am I? Saved by surfarama on Sun 16-11-2008 The Sartorialist Saved by OrganicGangstas on Thu 13-11-2008 An ill-advised endorsement by Canadian officials Saved […]

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.