Portrait photography is powerful enough to tell us so much about a person. For Linus Galleries’ “It’s Only Natural” art show, Paul Daniels centered his portraits Lebron James “The King” and Kobe Bryant “Mamba”, on athletes who are stripped of their fame and status; these men are no longer depicted as athlete-gods, instead as relatable mortals. What Daniels does to his subjects in paintings, curator at Linus Galleries Linnea Lenkus, does to artists with portrait photography. She strives to expose a side rarely seen, a side that enhances the reasoning behind their art.
Los Angeles photographer, Linnea Lenkus, specializes in creating fine art portrait photographs for people throughout all of the stages of their lives. Her fascination for photography, originating at an early age, proves how dedicated she is to her two portrait photography studios, located in Pasadena and Long Beach.
Watch a video of this art exhibit here.
“In my most recent portrait series I focused on athletes who I’ve either admired over the years, some I still admire now, some I don’t at all – but most other people do. Not because I’m still a big sports fan, but because I wanted to look behind the reasons why I started looking up to these guys as a kid, which is when I originally started drawing a good amount of the subjects I’m painting nearly 25 years later. At that time during the 80’s and 90’s they were simply superheroes in my opinion. Today, some of these same men have become very human to me, with their own set of troubles, or lack thereof. Over the past year as more portraits were completed, I started meeting the actual subjects, talking to their fans, having fans admire, compliment, and buy my work, and it sparked a whole set of other discussions centered around race, sexuality, pop culture, and so many other social topics I didn’t expect to get into from painting ‘sports guys.’ This whole process caused me to shift my entire outlook on society, social norms, stardom, and especially human nature.”
“I opted to do a photo shoot with Linnea prior to the show, I’d never done a solo “photoshoot” and she really helped me to be comfortable with that. I needed to be comfortable to convey the right energy, which she convinced me was there. The night of the show I was pleasantly surprised to see that the mix of different types of people went right along with the mix of different artwork. Amidst all of the mixture was a good vibe and harmony going on, so I’d say it turned out well.”
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