In this age of hyper-real manipulation of all imagery everywhere we turn, it was with an inordinate amount of glee we welcomed the first look at these portraits taken by Alex Sapienza for his exhibition at 37 Dawson St today.
Alex is a native of Rome, based in Dublin, where he shoots his signature style of portraiture in the very niche wet plate photography process using a 19th century camera, long exposure, glass plates and silver nitrate developing method.
What this style of shooting delivers is the antithesis of the Instagram/Snapchat/Facetune manipulated imagery, where anything we don’t like about ourselves can be changed into whatever we would prefer. Do we need to state again how false and ultimately damaging for one’s self-esteem that is? No? Ok, we’ll save that for another piece, but you get our point!
These days there is something brave about being photographed in a style that shows up any flaws that may be visible, but the thing is, we are all flawed. And you know what? Flaws are beautiful.
And so, therefore, is this photography.
Of his exhibition Alex says, “there is nowhere to hide with this style of photography, on a 10 x 12 inch plate, I capture a moment in time, never to be replicated. Life is not perfect, and neither should be how we immortalise it. I am honoured to have photographed some truly unique characters, all showing that there is beauty in revealing the imperfections that modern society tells us to hide.”
So it’s no surprise that a lot of our creative community, from actors, directors, musicians and models rarely decline an invitation to sit for Alex. Adam Clayton was Alex’s most recent subject, sitting in his Analogue Studio on South William St last night where Alex also offers portraits to anyone who would like to sit and have something real to keep and admire forever in a beautiful reaction to the disposable nature of the Insta-perfect world we inhabit presently.
Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken will be adorning the walls of 37 Dawson St tonight, see more of Alex’s work at The Analogue Studio.