Rotman extracts his subjects from tell-tale markers of time and place in order to establish an encounter with another human being, rather than with a stereotype or a caricature. Rotman’s portraits force the acknowledgement that these men exist.
By refusing to situate his subjects inside either real or imagined worlds, Rotman heightens the difficulty of this encounter. The photographs are not ‘almost void of any context’. Instead, they purposely refute context, and the escape that it can offer the viewer.
Aaron Lister, City Gallery exhibition catalogue 2015
This exhibition of photographs provides a second look at Jono Rotman’s controversial Mongrel Mob Portraits exhibited at Gow Langsford Gallery in 2014. First shown at City Gallery Wellington, the five works in this grouping move away from the singular traditional portrait composition of their predecessors and provide a broader framework for his subjects.
(image: Aaron Rogue, installation view, City Gallery Wellington, 2015)
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