Rita Barros, "Fernando", 2009, digital c-print, 30x40".

Rita Barros, “Fernando”, 2009, digital c-print, 30×40″.

Rita Barros

This series experiments with and reflects on what constitutes a portrait. Is it the single image of a face or is the environment around as important? Do objects transmit their owner’s inner life? As a standard iconographic solution, the 3×3 grid format allows the viewer’s eye to take in the entirety of the work and then fall on the individual images while arbitrarily scanning the piece. I am interested in allowing the viewer to impose their own narrative on the portrait, eliminating my need to create a notional sequence. In the end, these portraits don’t really need the subject’s face. By using details of their environment I am able to present a portrait that they themselves have created: a narrative that they have in effect “written”.

Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, Rita Barros is a freelance photographer who has lived in New York City since 1980. She has a MA in Art in Media and Studio Art from New York University and the International Center of Photography. Her work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions at PS 1, Briggs & Robinson Gallery, Exit Art, (all in NYC), Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Museum (Havana, Cuba), Encontros De Coimbra and Museum de ¡gua (both in Lisbon, Portugal), S„o Paulo Contemporary Art Museum (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Photo EspaÒa 07 at the Museo de Arte Contemporanea (Madrid, Spain), Flash Art Fair (Milan, Italy), and at Paris Photo 2009. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant in 2002 and is represented in various Portuguese and international art collections.