by Mark Rykoff
Traveling the streets and country lanes of Europe, photographer Pierre Gonnord has spent the last two decades making extraordinary portraits of marginalized individuals. His subjects range from simple farmers and immigrants to monks and circus performers. A Frenchman living in Spain, Gonnord travels with a studio that gives his images a richness that speaks to a long tradition of portraiture in photography and painting. The works bear the names of the subjects, but no more detail; this has the effect of respecting each sitter’s individuality, rather than using them as representatives of a group.
Gonnord’s work will be presented for the first time in the United States in an exhibition opening on December 8 at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York. The artist titled the show “Relatos,” a word which means “narrations” or “stories” in Spanish to evoke the way he has chosen his subjects. “Under their skin,” Gonnord writes, “my contemporaries 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.”
Relatos is on view at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York from Dec. 8-Feb. 4.