The Portrait Unbound: Photographs by Robert Weingarten
High Museum of Art
January 23 to May 30, 2010
The High Museum of Art will premier an exhibition of new work by California-based photographer Robert Weingarten in January 2010. Consisting of twenty-one large-scale (60 x 90 in.) digitally created portraits of American icons, Weingarten’s project represents a bold departure from traditional camera portraiture. In “The Portrait Unbound” Weingarten has created photographs that are highly sophisticated digital compositions of imagery that allude to specific interests, achievements or moments within the subject’s life. The result is a unique and compelling composite of images which describes the subject through biographical rather than physical information. Organized by the High Museum, “The Portrait Unbound: Photographs by Robert Weingarten” will be on view from January 23 to May 30, 2010.
“Weingarten’s new project represents an exciting and full-blooded foray into the world of digital photography, which will be a first for the High and for our visitors. The photographs are crafted with consummate skill using the very latest in digital technology. They have the scale and presence of paintings,” says Julian Cox, curator of photography at the High. “Employing advanced digital techniques and a finely honed aesthetic, Weingarten’s photographs propose a radical new way of thinking about the portrait that is unconstrained by the specifics of time, place and conventional subject matter.”
The digital portraits in the exhibition include eminent Americans from the worlds of art, science, sports, politics and culture—among them Hank Aaron, Buzz Aldrin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chuck Close, Sandra Day O’Connor, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Billy Graham, Dennis Hopper, Quincy Jones, Carl Lewis and Colin Powell. A short film detailing Weingarten’s artistic background and inventive methods will accompany the exhibition.
Born in New York City in 1941, Robert Weingarten graduated from Baruch College, New York, in 1962 with a degree in finance. For the next thirty years he pursued a career in finance and served as CEO of several financial institutions. His first and abiding passion was photography, which he pursued over all those years as time would permit. At the age of 54 he decided to become fully committed to his photographic art. His photographs have been exhibited in more than 70 exhibitions worldwide, and are represented in numerous collections including the George Eastman House; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art and the High Museum of Art. Weingarten has also received numerous awards in photography, including the 1997 Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS); the Associate of the Royal Photographic Society; the Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS) and the Silver Medal for the Royal Photographic Society’s 143rd International Print Competition, Bath, England. Weingarten’s photographs are the subject of several monographs and his work has appeared in multiple publications. He currently lives in Malibu, California.