Elinor Carucci on Portraiture

Untitled, 2001. Tierney Gearon
fototazo has asked twelve photographers what makes a good portrait. This is the 2nd in the series of their responses. The first was Mark Powell.

Born in Jerusalem, Elinor Carucci moved to New York in 1995. She was quickly included in an impressive number of solo and group exhibitions, including a solo show at the Gagosian Gallery and a group show at the Musuem of Modern Art. Her photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, among others. She was awarded the International Center for Photography's Infinity Award for Young Photographers in 2001 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002. She has published two monographs, Closer, which was recently republished with a new forward by Susan Kismaric, and Diary of a Dancer. Her work can be explored here.

Elinor Carucci: A good portrait for me is one that evokes a response of some sort to the person being photographed which allows a deeper look into who this person is. I know that for me it is usually an emotional response that tempts me into the images, feelings draw me in and make me remember the image, the person, or the story, and make me go back to the image again and again.

I attached a portrait that was taken by Tierney Gearon of her mother because I can really get a sense of her mother, something about the stress of the hands, the tension of the mouth sucking the cigarette, but with her gaze far away...the contrast between these elements make this portrait complex and moving. It sends me to my own fears and anxieties, to the women that are important in my life, and how I look at them; I feel connected to this image and through it to my own life.