Inspired by the great portrait painters of old, Pierre Gonnord creates large scale portraits of people considered to be outsiders: the destitute, homeless, gypsies, and the blind. Far from treating his subjects the way that the world often does, Gonnord views his subjects through a lens of deep compassion and creates images which bring out their storied past in a reverent way. Each colorfully worn face is given to us to explore, to ponder, and question how it reached the state it is in today. In a sense, he takes people who are often considered less than human, and touchingly makes them larger than life.
“I choose my contemporaries in the anonymity of the big cities because their faces, under the skin, narrate unique, remarkable stories about our era. Sometimes hostile, almost always fragile and very often wounded behind the opacity of their masks, they represent specific social realities and, sometimes, another concept of beauty. I also try to approach the unclassifiable, timeless individual, to suggest things that have been repeated over and over since time began. I would like to encourage crossing a border.” – Pierre Gonnord
Gonnord was born in 1963 and lives and works in Spain. Portraits from his series Territoires are currently showing at the Juana de Aizpuru Gallery in Madrid, Spain through the 27th of July. For more about this photographer and his moving work, see pierregonnord.com.