David Samuel Stern American, b. 1982


Portraiture and photography have similarly impossible missions: we don’t see a person by looking at their portrait, and a photograph is not a window into another time—it is an object. I want this ongoing series to acknowledge these impossibilities, but not as dead ends. Portraiture has always had in it a certain longing, and a photograph has always been a mechanical and tangible thing. This is a striking conflict, which has its own way of conveying meaning, because, to me, portraits and photography have another similarity: they both hide as much as they show.