Anti-Portraiture Genre and Negative Portraits Research Paper by Nicky

An attempt to understand anti-portraiture portraits as a reader and viewer.
# 151332 | 3,521 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 31, 2012 in Art (General) , Philosophy (General)

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This paper examines how anti-portraiture represents their subject in an abstract way in order to present the subject, artist, and viewer as vulnerable to external forces, and how the subject's voyeurism presents a very clear response to particular photographic themes. By examining the works of important artists and theorists within the field of such experimental photography such as Roland Barthes and photographer Lee Friedlander, the paper attempts to understand the complexities and sense of loss seen within the anti-portraiture genre and what it theoretically stands for.

From the Paper:

"Anti-portraiture portraits are present in both fine arts as well as photography, and convey a very compelling image within the manipulated stories the art tells within each unique piece. The genre itself represents a "graphic image of people in which is not individuality but the embodiment of ideas that is being represented," (Maxphotos 1). The focus is not directly on the subject, but rather what the subject and his or her actions represents to the emotional state of the viewer. In anti-portraiture portraits, every element of the subject is important, but for much different reasons that typical traditional portraits. It represents "The tension between image and concept," (Maxphotos 1). It does so in that the feelings do not define the subject, as they would in a traditional portrait, but rather an abstract concept or message that is meant to invoke particular emotions out of the viewer based on what they perceive within the subject and its relation to the other background elements of the photograph. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allen, Graham. Roland Barthess. Routledge. 1st ed. 2003.
  • Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. Vintage Classics. 1982
  • Burgin, Victor. "The Separateness of Things." Tate Papers. 2005. Retrieved 19 Oct 2009 at
  • Burnett, Ron. "Roland Barthess and Camera Lucida: Photography and Modernism. Critical Approaches. Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Retrieved 19 Oct 2009 at
  • Kreps, Daniel. "Nude Madonna Photo Fetched $37,500 at Auction." Rolling Stone. 2009. Retrieved 18 Oct 2009 at

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Anti-Portraiture Genre and Negative Portraits (2012, May 31) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Anti-Portraiture Genre and Negative Portraits" 31 May 2012. Web. 09 December. 2023. <>