Silver 2015 / Editorial / Photo Essay (Non-Pro)

The Prince and the Pauper

  • Prizes
    Silver in Editorial/Photo Essay
  • Photographer
    Horia Manolache

Portraits of homeless people as they are and as they dreamed to be. It was before starting the school when I had the curiosity to explore our family’s painting albums where I found magnificent works of Rembrandt Van Rijn. Later, I remember that I’ve seen the work of Edward Weston where things aren't what they seem to be and I had a epiphany, certain things matched in my mind. In both cases, their style gave me a sense of mystery common with the film noir. Having this two landmarks, I felt that I should isolate my subjects, so I can connect my work better with the viewer and, although I am attracted and I understand the strength of the environmental portraits, I believe people tell more with their eyes and their faces. Later on I found Jim Goldberg’s “Rich and Poor” exhibited at Pier 24 in San Francisco and seeing the contrast between the photos and the words that his subjects wrote on the photos made me realize that a photo cannot tell the truth or at least not all the truth, it just gives the photographers "truth". As a consequence, for my project I started to record the stories of the people I photographed, I began to have a personal dialog that gave me the context that I needed and that could not be found just in the portraits. One of my favourite portraits, “Migrant mother” of Dorothea Lange, strengthened my opinion that showing a closer copy of a person gives a greater response from the viewer and this I think because of the “Gulliverish” impression that the viewer has. You see somebody or something at an unnatural scale or from an unlikely distance. This I believe is the goal of my project, to show the homeless people in an unlikely approach and from an unlikely distance.