SUPPORTRAITS; a visual essay of isolation
Photographer and artist Gabriel Vorbon unveils his latest photography art project which started in 2016 and was concluded during the inevitable lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Gabriel spends his time between Istanbul and Barcelona where he creates beautiful images that merge fashion and documentary photography in a fresh and candid form. Within the vast body of works created by Vorbon is his newest photography essay titled 'SUPPORTRAITS'.
Gabriel tells us that the project started in 2016 to create a portrait series that saw nine different people - total strangers to one another - being photographed at different times while wearing the same garment - a white turtleneck top. The plain background became another common denominator in this essay as Vorbon smudged the lines that separate gender, body-type, and skin colour. One single garment connected nine different individuals from distinct backgrounds, stories, families, cultures and interests.
The photographer and artist shares that he had to stop shooting the project after he had shot his subjects as he became engaged with other ideas and projects. However, the lockdown has led Gabriel back to the unfinished project as he found himself with more free time in his hands. Vorbon shares that; "during this quarantine period, I decided to continue the project until I finished it. So I asked each of the people who I had previously photographed for this project to send me a short text which I would include in the essay along with their images." Gabriel asked each of his models to share 'how they were feeling during isolation'. He then asked them to send their answers in their own handwriting in their native languages, these being; Turkish, English, German, French and Russian. Once Gabriel had received the texts he merged the answers with the preexisting images which were shot in analogue format and using natural light.
This visual essay still represents the same core idea from when it was first executed; however, this time around, and due to the quarantine, we can see a new layer of connection between people as no matter their location or political and social-economical beliefs or gender, race, and body-shape, they all share the same reality of finding themselves in confinement. The project seeks to analyse and explore the connections that make people equal be it emotionally or otherwise.
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ELIF BUSRA ERGUN
LEVI JUNIOR NGON
ZEYNEP GULSAH AYGUN