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McCray, Kelly
Ken Portrait #5 Ken Portrait #5
2003 2003

“Ken Portrait #5” is part of a series of photo-based portraits, using a disposable camera, that explores the artist’s brother Ken, an epileptic and his relationship with the camera and society. The portrait portrays an image of the verso of a figure nearly hidden in a field of darkness, which then highlights a dimly lit torso, head and buttocks which disappear again into shadow. The slightly hunched over posture gives the piece a fragile and tenuous nature. Ken is camera and gaze resistant; an introvert by nature however his condition is not directly implicit in the photos. They are also “non-portraits”, as he is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with a socialized “pose”. Due to his condition he leads a vulnerable, strange, reclusive lifestyle. In this way McCray honours the dignity of the human body while acknowledging its corporal fragility and shifting social identity. His work evokes classical and romantic sensibilities but is not idealized or heroic in any way. The brooding and atmospheric portraits seduce our gaze evoking conditions of fragility familiar to all of us – the struggle to protect ourselves, maintain dignity and poise in a world fraught with darkness and uncertainty. The portraits are a study in gesture, anatomical lines, light and Ken’s natural posture exploring the psychological line between the sitter, photographer and viewer.

 
McCray, Kelly
Iserlohn, Germany 1961 Iserlohn, Germany 1961
Ken Portrait #5 Ken Portrait #5
2003 2003
Giclee output from digital file onto Arches watercolour paper Giclee output from digital file onto Arches watercolour paper
overall: 60.8 cm x 39.5 cm
Gift of Herbert O. Bunt, 2007 Gift of Herbert O. Bunt, 2007
50-017.07

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