What defines a portrait? Is it still a portrait if the subject is present in the frame but hidden from the eye? If the answer is yes, then photographer Chris Buck has captured a series of unique celebrity portraits through his project titled Presence. If not, then each of the photographs simply shows a random scene.
The photograph above? That’s a portrait of famous American photographer Cindy Sherman.
Buck also has a witness on hand to sign a statement for each portrait, affirming that the famous individual was actually present.
Cindy Sherman, a conceptual artist herself, loves the project. Here’s a quote she gave for the project’s website:
The whole point of having your portrait taken is to promote your commodity — your face — and I love how this series is the exact opposite of that.
Here are some other photographs in the series (the name of the subject is in the caption):
Over the course of 5 years, Buck has captured 50 of these portraits. They’ve now been published as a book titled Presence: The Invisible Portrait.
Here’s a video in which Buck introduces the project:
Image credits: Photographs by Chris Buck and used with permission