Art: Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait as Light

Light acts as a talisman in Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait as Light, the Brazilian artist’s first solo U.S. show.

click to enlarge Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait as Light
Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait as Light

Light acts as a talisman in Albano Afonso: Self-Portrait as Light, the Brazilian artist’s first solo U.S. show. Flashes conceal the artist’s face in portraits he photographed while standing before a mirror. His hands appear to hold a mystical orb that both illuminates and obscures. Light is what creates a photograph and enables our eyes to see it. But expose a photo to light and over time it deteriorates until it looks like one of Afonso’s perforated self-portrait mash-ups with old masters.
 These layered photographs, with Afonso’s eyes peering under images of Dürer, Rembrandt and others, intend to revere the artist’s predecessors rather than render them irrelevant. They’re akin to Kehinde Wiley’s oeuvre, seen last summer at the Taft Museum of Art and 21c Museum Hotel. White circles dance about the artists’ heads like stars. 


Through Aug. 30. $7.50; $5.50 educators/students/seniors. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.

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