Aura Rosenberg, Head Shots

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Artist Aura Rosenberg’s Head Shots series was made in the early 90s – a pre-internet time. A collection of black and white close-ups of male faces, often with their eyes closed, or lips parted. Perhaps a smile. Men caught in ecstasy, men at climax? It’s not clear. Lynne Tillman and Gary Indiana contribute writing to the book. It’s introduced by Rosenberg’s husband, John Miller, who says: ‘an overhaul of masculine portraiture is long overdue’. We find artists Mike Kelley and John Baldessari amongst these ‘portraits’. Whether or not they are documents of a ‘real’ climax, mightn't be the point. Rosenberg alerts us instead to the idea that all sex is, in some way, performed. (Claire de Rouen)

Published April 1996 by Barbara Gladstone Gallery, 146 pgs, softcover, new copy