The Unseen Eye
This haunting collection of photographs reflects the surreal vision of the New York collector W.M. Hunt. The photographs have a common theme the gaze of the subject is averted, the face obscured or the eyes firmly closed and range from Andre Breton’s self-portrait with eyes closed to Ruth Snyder in the electric chair in 1928 and from Weegee’s multi-imaged portrait of Andy Warhol in sunglasses to Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of the artist Alice Neel with her eyes closed. The pictures present a catalogue of anti-portraiture, characterized at first glance by what its subject conceal, not by what the camera reveals. The continuous plate section, broadly ordered as a portrait of humanity from birth to death, has a commentary by Hunt running through it, in which he offers his own intense and perceptive responses to the images he has gathered over many years, as well as insights into the psychology of collecting.
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