This is a series of thirty-five portraits taken by Manel Ortega at Phoenix Brighton from 2016 – 2017. The ultimate aim of this project is to photograph all 120+ artists who have studios in the building.
Ortega uses a simple and pared down format to capture the essence of the artist within a single, black and white image. He aims to cut through reductive, pre-existing stereotypes of ‘creatives’ by allowing the artists to collude with him in the staging or their portraits. He states, ‘Each artist is singular yet complex, and their creative practice enables them to project a more fluid identity if they so choose. I want to present an image of the artist in his or her work environment, as they would normally dress, rather than as an intentionally glamourized portrait.’
Manel Ortega is a photographer from Granada, Spain. He worked as a commercial photographer in Barcelona and then moved to Brighton in 2003 where has been developing his artistic practice in portraiture, the human form and themes around masculinity. He self-publishes a fine art photography.