Currently open at the Diotima Art Gallery curated by Redi (Red Bikcin), is an exhibition of avatar portraiture by Rofina Bronet.
I confess that prior to receiving an invitation to view this exhibition, I was unfamiliar with Rofina’s art, and that having visited this exhibition, I find her approach to presenting avatars intriguing.
On display are eighteen portraits in a mix of colour and monochrome images that are striking in their presentation. The approach taking with each of them is to focus closely on the subject’s head, an approach that in many of the images offers a unique perspective on the individual in the picture.
At times this can be a little disconcerting in the way it gives prominence to facial features and the shape of the subject’s head. The result can be a little jarring when viewing the images, but the result is also visually striking, drawing – challenging, even – the observer to closely study each image.
Many of the images – notably those in monochrome – offer the subject as the sole focus of the image, and have been taken in such a way that the subject is not looking at the camera. Rather, they are either looking to one side of the camera, or ignoring it completely, as if something out-of-frame has captured their attention.
This gives an added depth to the studies that is captivating. By having them appear as if they are focusing on something other than the camera, the portraits take on a unique and personal life of their own. Rather than appearing posed and framed, they come across as pictures taken in the moment; a chance event. Combined with the above-mentioned perspective carried within each image, this approach draws the observer into both studying the subject more deeply and create a narrative around that “moment in time” in which the image seems to have been captured.
Alongside of these images are a number – notably in colour – are several in which the subject is looking at – or towards – the camera. These images are presented against a broader backdrop, one which combines with the subject to again create a narrative within the image; one that also brings the subject naturally to life.
This is a fascinating exhibition, and for me, an engaging introduction to the art of Rofina Bronet, one I enjoyed receiving.
- Diotima Art Gallery (Gigli Waves, rated: Moderate)