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Old 12th April 2011   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Re: The About Face Exhibition

The write-up is fascinating, Sarah. Thank you. What a wonderful show this clearly was (and is, because it's going on for a whole month). All of the portraits are lovely, but I agree with Sarah that Kelsey's and Rosie's definitely stood out. I only wish that Katherine Roll had been a part of the project too -- but then, this was a California shoot, not a New York shoot.

I like the image of the photographer, Mr. Mabkhout, with the portrait of Kelsey right behind him -- almost as if she were an ethereal spirit visiting him in a dream. If anyone could be a present-day muse, it is she.

From the perspective of fashion and body image, I found this comment from the photographer very enlightening:

Originally Posted by Sarah
When I did finally get to talk to Mr. Mabkhout, I simply complimented him on his work and asked him about his inspiration for the portrait series. He said, "I've always loved the divas of the 1940s and '50s--Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page. It's strange--I worked in fashion photography for 15 years, and suddenly I realized that I've never really photographed the kind of women I'm attracted to. I'm attracted to curvy women. I suppose working in the industry, you develop a certain mindset, and it just never occurred to me to photograph plus-size girls. So this is my very first series featuring plus-size models." He laughed...He seemed to still be amazed and amused by the fact that he hadn't worked with plus-size models before.

Isn't that interesting? I wonder if that might not be the case for many photographers -- that they shoot underweight models simply because that's what everyone else in their industry is doing, but it simply never occurs to them that they could create even more gorgeous images with fuller-figured models. It's easy for any of us to become boxed in by habit, or by the standard practices of our profession. But then, all it takes is a flash of insight, a moment of inspiration -- or a visitation from a muse -- and we might discover a whole new and better way of proceeding.

I'm glad that Mr. Mabkhout experienced just such a stroke of inspiration. I eagerly look forward to his next projects with voluptuous goddesses.
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