Tuesday 9 September 2008

Julia Baum @ NY Studio Gallery, New York

"Johanna", digital c-print, 2008

A Rare Breed
A Portrait Series on Redheads
works by Julia Baum

September 4th-27th, 2008

Artist's Reception: Friday September 12, 7 - 9pm

NY Studio Gallery wrote to me and told me how pleased they are to present: A Rare Breed - A Portrait Series on Redheads by Julia Baum. A redhead herself, Baum uses her insight as a photographer and interest in the photographic portrait to investigate elements of what makes the red haired person so unique.

The project was initiated by a widely printed rumor that redheads are going extinct. While the rumour proved to be false, Baum began documenting her red haired subjects both as an exploration of portraiture (Baum had until then been a landscape photographer) and as a way of documenting and preserving the legacy of redheads.

The artist states, "As redheads, we are used to being one in a crowd and regularly noted for our appearance. Experiencing life in this way from infancy through adulthood influences who we are. As a natural redhead, I know our hair color affects more than just our appearance. As only 1% of the entire human population, our distinctive coloring is a relevant topic from day one."

Throughout the series, while the red hair gene is constant, each coloration and personality within the series exemplifies a unique manifestation. In A Rare Breed, Baum takes advantage of the radiant light of her daylight studio – to examine the outward appearance and inner character her subjects present. While photographing individuals in front of a simple white background, Baum allows us to examine the nuance of each shade of red in a provocative and entertaining series of intimate photographs.

Her complete series can be seen on her blog she maintains here. In the meanwhile, here are a small selection that will be sure to leave you with a thirst for more.

All images ©Julia Baum