I don’t know what to say about the portrait by Canadian artist John Köhler, which was exhibited at the National Portraits Gallery of the United States this year.
The photo was chosen to be displayed as part of the exhibit’s collection, The Photography of John Koller, which includes a portrait of John’s father.
The portrait was shot in the early 1960s, and is the subject of the exhibition’s “A Tale of Two Poses” exhibition, which opens Friday at the gallery in New York.
But it’s the photograph’s title that’s got me excited.
“It’s not just about being able to capture a moment in time,” says artist and curator of the collection Daniel Tullo.
“There’s an element of mystery and wonder that’s being achieved here.
There’s also a sense of a connection between the photographer and the subject.
The photographer captures something very tangible, and the subjects is captured something very intangible.
So it’s both a moment of beauty and a moment that is still somewhat mysterious.”
The artist has been using his work for decades.
In 2013, he won the Art Institute of Chicago’s National Portraiture of the Year for his work on the iconic photo of the Vietnam War veterans returning home after the war.
His work has been exhibited in galleries across the country, and he’s been working with the museum since 2009 to complete the collection.
“He’s an artist of the moment, and his work is always moving,” Tullos tells Mashable.
“In many ways, his works are just like an extension of his own life.
They’re a continuation of who he is.
He’s been doing his art since he was a young man, and this exhibition, with the photography of John, really shows that.”
But what makes the painting particularly unique is the way that the subject, who Kölers father was a teacher of, has been captured.
“I don’t think we have ever seen a portrait like this before,” says Tullis.
“This is a portrait that has the essence of the man.
It’s a portrait we have never seen before.”
And he says that he’s not the only person who has been able to find the perfect subject to capture.
“A lot of people have found that it’s very important to capture people in their natural habitat,” he says.
“If you’re going to do it right, then the subject should be an animal, a bird, a plant, a building, a landscape, whatever.
I think that capturing the natural environment, the landscape, and capturing the person in the photograph, all of those things are crucial.”
He adds that Köels father was an artist with a passion for nature.
“The painting is really a reflection of that.
He was a photographer, but he also was a gardener, he was also a farmer.
And he was very involved in the arts.”
As the exhibition begins, Tulles tells Mashables that he hopes that his subjects will be able to take some time to see the work.
“You don’t just have to look at it and say, ‘This is good,'” he says, “but you also have to take the time to appreciate it.
It’ll bring something to the conversation, and it’ll give them something to think about.”
The portrait will be on view at the exhibition through Nov. 30.