Kevin Capon: Portraits 1984 – 85

Ralph Hotere, 1984, silver gelatin contact prints, edition of 6, 200mm x 255mm
Ralph Hotere, 1984, silver gelatin contact prints, edition of 6, 200mm x 255mm

This exhibition on at Sanderson Contemporary, Auckland, features a small selection of works from a wider body of forty photographic portraits that Kevin Capon shot throughout 1984-85. The black and white portraits captured prominent figures within the arts at the time, a snapshot of New Zealand’s creative face of the time. The portraits are close up and personal, tightly framed on the face and intimate images of artists that have echoed through time such as Colin McCahon, Doris Lusk and Ralph Hotere. Portraits 1984-85 is a true snapshot of an era – allowing us to glimpse back while knowing the legacy of today.

Colin McCahon, 1984, silver gelatin contact prints, edition of 6 , 200mm x 255mm
Colin McCahon, 1984, silver gelatin contact prints, edition of 6 , 200mm x 255mm

Portraits 1984-85 is part of the 2018 Auckland Festival of Photography CORE programme.

Kevin Capon is an artist that uses photography to unravel particularities and conflicts in the pursuit of image-making. His oeuvre builds toward an enigmatic archive that describes human anxieties and the fading glory of modernity. Household objects and awkward figures become examples to illustrate noteworthy familial and societal phenomena. These themes are explored with a deadpan studio aesthetic that falls in the spectrum between commercial product and highly composed snapshot.

The way in which images continue to evolve and define culture influences Kevin Capon’s approach. His 1984 portrait series documented New Zealanders in the arts using a traditional 8 x 10 large-format camera. The resulting contact prints of pioneers Colin McCahon and Ralph Hotere are equally represented alongside other accomplished creatives and media personalities by tight facial close-ups, a hallmark of Andy Warhol’s era. Decadeslater, portraiture’s obsession with the truth and fame has given way to fictional perspectives and the layperson. Accordingly, Capon’s recent pieces use uncanny subjects to construct complex allegories…   (Read more)

When: 12 June – 1 July 2018
Where: Sanderson Contemporary, Osborne Ln, 2 Kent St, Newmarket Auckland
Website: sanderson.co.nz

Feature Image: Kevin Capon, Tony Fomison, 1984, silver gelatin contact prints, edition of 6, 200mm x 255mm

All images courtesy of the artist and Sanderson Contemporary

Jessica
Article by: Jessica Velasquez
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