“This project simply reminds us of how fragile we are. Many cultures portray men as strong – physically and emotionally.”
When Ilan from Ilan Wittenberg Photography set out to create his exhibition piece, “The Bare Truth”, he hoped he would break down this stigma and expose and reveal the real man through a series of raw black and white images.
“One of the goals of this project is to give men freedom to express their feelings and connect to their emotions. This fresh look at men is an eye opening opportunity to see the real people without the 'shield' of clothes.”
"The idea of creating portraits of men who expose their chest evolved gradually. The biggest challenge was finding the first man to agree to pose. After a few rejections and setbacks, I created a portrait of a close friend and became really engaged with the look in his eyes."
"At the beginning I asked only family and friends to participate. After gaining valuable experience and formalising a consistent style, I expanded the portfolio and became confident in approaching total strangers. Having a small folio helped in overcoming objections, until the project gained a critical mass with dozens of portraits. I focused on capturing a variety of ethnic groups, poses, age groups and body sizes. It’s the set of photos that make the collection engaging."
"It takes us just one-tenth of a second to judge someone and make a first impression so it’s fascinating to see how quickly we form our opinion based solely on physical appearance."
"It’s been said that photography is the easiest medium of Art to be competent in but it's the hardest medium in which to have a truly personal vision. It's very much like talking: everyone can talk but very few have something to say."
"In creating this collection, I aim to demonstrate a clear style, to tell a story while being imaginative and thought-provoking. My goal is to present work that is strong and distinguished with a clear narrative sense. I wish to inspire people with images that are crisp and sharp, to be creative and artistic, to evoke emotions and to show a personal vision."
We met Ilan a couple of weeks ago when he won NZIPP's Auckland photographer of the year. We loved hearing about his work and can't wait to see more. His journey as a photographer began relatively recently in 2011 but he was quickly recognized as one to watch, winning a plethora of national and international awards. He is now thrilled to be working in an eye-opening field that enables him to get amongst New Zealand’s culture. The people, the atmosphere and the landscape here have contributed to Wittenberg’s shift into a photographic career, where he enjoys exercising his creative spirit.
To view more of his work, click here.