Artists Walter & Zoniel are heading to Miami in December to present Alpha-Ation which features their colossal hand–built camera, characterised by its 1850’s brass lens, to produce a series of exclusive portraits of high profile figures akin to gigantic Polaroids. The photographs are shot directly on to positive paper so that each artwork is unique, having no negative or possibility of reproduction. The images are then intricately hand-coloured and gilded with 24ct gold in the artists’ personal style, ‘iconising’ their subjects, and eventually forming a sculptural altarpiece.
Andreas Kronthaler ©Walter + Zoniel, 2015. Courtesy Gazelli Art House
Through their practice Walter & Zoniel capture a unique and alternative perspective of each of their subjects. Their unusual photographic process requires an exceptionally long exposure time (up to 20 seconds), which allows the duo to capture an honesty and intensity of the sitter’s eyes in each piece they create. The works allude to iconography juxtaposing their subjects against an unmasked expression of presence and being, which questions the modern conceptions and uses of photography. This simultaneously provides the viewer with both an intense and insightful connection to the subjects’ humanity and their portrayal as an ‘ultra-being’, opening a body of questions about our current relationships with, and proliferation of, ‘the portrait’ in modern day life.
Emily Watson ©Walter + Zoniel, 2015. Courtesy Gazelli Art House
About The artists
Walter & Zoniel have been collaborating and exhibiting internationally since 2008. Multidisciplinary in their practice, they work with a variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, film and performance. Their work focuses on visually charming and enticing the viewer into a momentary escape, whilst questioning and dealing with the human condition. Previous projects also centre on utilising scientific process and pioneering the modern development of early photographic techniques. Recent projects include a performance-practice installation at the Tate Britain, titled Salt Print Selfie, and site-specific public installations in Miami and Liverpool. In 2014 Walter & Zoniel were nominated for the Paul Huf Award. In October 2015, the duo produced Prelude To Spectra, a site–specific public performance for Art Silicon Valley in San Francisco.
Walter & Zoniel: Alpha-Ation 2nd – 5th December, 2015 Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
©Walter + Zoniel, 2015. Courtesy Gazelli Art House