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Bare Truth


Sat 18 Jun 2016, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:00am–4:00pm
Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:00am–4:00pm
Tue 21 Jun 2016, 10:00am–4:00pm
Wed 22 Jun 2016, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Northart, Norman King Square, Ernie Mays St, Northcote, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: Ilan Wittenberg

Auckland Festival of Photography 2016 Signature Programme includes a compelling show that’s bound to expose the truth – a striking collection of monochrome images of bare chested New Zealand men.

One of the key aims of photographer Ilan Wittenberg’s ‘Bare Truth’ campaign was to counter-balance the portrayal of men as strong, physically and emotionally. “This stereotype sometime leads to dire outcomes when considering how poorly typical men treat health symptoms such as depression, stress and anxiety,” he says.

“I want to raise awareness; give men the freedom to express their feelings and connect with their emotions. This fresh look at men is an eye-opening opportunity to see real people without the 'shield' of clothes. The project simply reminds us of how fragile we are.”

The combination of shooting in monochrome, using soft, directional light and adopting a special post-processing technique allowed Wittenberg to enhance the features of his ‘models’ so that the images are raw and crisp. The simple backgrounds eliminate distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expression.

The biggest challenge was finding the first man to agree to pose. After a few rejections, Wittenberg created portraits of close friends and family members. As the portfolio expanded, he formalised a consistent style and became confident in approaching strangers – men who had an interesting appearance or whose face told a story.

“While some men are very comfortable with having their portrait created, others feel this is completely outside their comfort zone, particularly when asked to strip down to the waist. One man expected the experience to be therapeutic while others were slightly nervous. The results show a captivating mix of men that are humble, courageous and vulnerable.”

The project gained momentum after prints from the body of work won awards in the Portrait Classic category of the 2015 Iris Awards from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. NZIPP then awarded Ilan the title: 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year. ‘Bare Truth’ was also selected to be an Associated Exhibition at the 2016 Head On photo festival in Sydney.

Opening Function:
Sunday 5 June, 4 – 6pm - Save the date!

Artist Talk:
Sunday 12 June, 2pm - This is your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the project.

The exhibition runs from June 5 until June 22 - Entry is free.

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