Man with Pink Face by Irving Penn (1970)

The photograph titled “Man with Pink Face” was captured by the artist Irving Penn in New Guinea in the year 1970. This black-and-white image depicts an individual whose face appears to be painted or adorned with a light-colored substance, contrasting sharply with the darker elements of the photograph. It features a front-on portrait of a person with a remarkable facial decoration or mask-like application, possibly for cultural or ritualistic purposes.

The subject of the photograph is a male figure with textured hair that surrounds the head, complementing the organic feel of the image. The face is split into two primary sections by a bold, vertical line that runs down the center, giving the appearance of symmetry. This division presents a notable graphic element to the facial decoration. The person’s gaze is not directly engaging the viewer, providing a sense of introspection or detachment. The individual is wearing what looks like a garment or covering around the neck and shoulders, made from a material that adds to the overall texture of the photograph. The image is captured with fine detail and tonal richness, characteristic of Penn’s photographic style, which often elevates the subject matter with a sense of solemnity and depth.

Other Photographs from Irving Penn

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