Aug 29, 2008

Soldier Bruno: 355 Days in Iraq

Soldier Bruno: 355 Days in Iraq


Suzanne Opton

(American, 1950-)

Inkjet print, Lambda

Image: 36.8 x 46 cm (14 1/2 x 18 1/8 in.); Mounted: 40.5 x 50.5 cm (15 15/16 x 19 7/8 in.); Paper: 40.5 x 50.5 cm (15 15/16 x 19 7/8 in.); Matted: 61 x 71.1 cm (24 x 28 in.)

Gift of Friends of Photography 2008.88



During 2004 and 2005, New York-based photographer Suzanne Opton received permission to photograph soldiers at Fort Drum who had recently returned from at least 100 days in Iraq or Afghanistan. In some of her most compelling close-up portraits, she asked her subjects to lay their heads on a table in front of a large-format, 4-by-5-inch camera. Bathed in eerie light, soldier Bruno stares intensely into the lens, unaware of just when Opton might release the shutter. There is, however, a sense of vulnerability contained within his unblinking gaze. This image is an evocative mix of traditional, straightforward portraiture combined with an unexpected, uncommon approach to making a portrait. Her intimate viewpoint, as if staring across a bed, prevents the viewer from quickly comprehending the sitter’s visage.
Gift of Friends of Photography 2008.88

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