About this project
The Portrait Machine Project Book is a collection of polaroid aura portraits of subjects ranging from my grandmother to Miranda July, Terence Koh and James Frey. The 9.75 x12 inch, 96 page, full color, hardcover book also includes the camera generated diagrams/descriptions that accompany each polaroid.
This project started when I was making polaroid portraits here in NY. I was interested in the idea that a camera could offer an insight into the subject’s character or my relationship with them, especially if its a portrait of someone you know. The relationship between the camera, photographer, subject and viewer was something I wanted to explore.
I started using the polaroid aura camera because of what it promised to do, it was invented in an attempt to record what a psychic might see. This seemed like a familiar idea to me -- that a camera could provide an otherwise unseen insight.
The tension, or harmony, between the portraits and the people I was photographing was something I wanted to make accessible to you as the viewer, so I started including people that might be familiar.
The camera is built around an instant land camera, it gets attached directly to the subject by sensors which read biofeedback, that’s converted into information about the them and is depicted as color in the polaroid. The camera also generates a printed diagram and description which includes information about their character and how they are seen by others.
I’ve always imagined these portraits as a book, which I am working on creating and hope to be sharing with you soon. Thank you for your support.
About Carlo Van de Roer.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1975, Van de Roer received a BFA from Victoria University before working and exhibiting internationally in the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France. Van de Roer has received the ADC Young Guns Award, the APA Silver to Pixels Award for Fine Art and the PDN Pix Award. He was named a Top 50 Photographer by Photolucida and received the Honorable Mention for the BMW Paris Photo Prize in 2010. His work has drawn notice by the New York Times, The New Yorker,INTERVIEW magazine, Vogue Italia, Wired Magazine and NPR.
Work from The Portrait Machine Project has been exhibitied at M+B Gallery in LA, Suite Gallery in NZ, Festival d’Hyères and Carrousel du Louvre in France.
For a full exhibition history please visit www.vanderoer.com
New York Times, T Magazine, In Focus, excerpt
Things other people have said:
...there is no doubt that Van de Roer’s photos are hauntingly beautiful.
LA Weekly, excerpt.
Like Beshty’s early embassy pictures, New York artist Van de Roer’s portraits have the bleeding effect of images prematurely exposed, except they’ve neither been X-rayed nor sun-seared
....Van de Roer used an Aura camera. He calls it “The Portrait Machine” because it’s uniquely suited to exploring portraiture’s typically knotty subject-artist-camerainterplay.
Exhibition Press Release, except.
The images in The Portrait Machine Project function as robust examples of the way photographs represent not only visual moments, but also the complex and ongoing relationship between artist, camera and subject always at play in portraiture. Created using a Polaroid aura camera developed in the 1970s, Van de Roer’s photographs of friends and personalities of public note—including Philippe Starck, Waris Ahluwalia, artists Miranda July, Aurel Schmidt and Terence Koh, as well as author James Frey— draw on traditions of portraiture and spirit photography as they examine classic photographic interests.
Some other things people have said:
New York Times, The Moment
New York Times, T Magazine
The New Yorker
Marie Claire Italy
This is what the grid poster looks like, it features all the amazing people who helped make the project possible.
Box-set of portrait postcards
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