Paul Adrian Chis - Eye


Paul Adrian Chis - Unconventional

Unconventional Portrait 2

Paul Adrian Chis - Beauty and Bizarre

THE DARK SUMMER – Beauty and Bizarre series

Paul Adrian Chis - Dispal

CRIASA~1 – Dispal series

Paul Adrian Chiş - Photography under the sign of paintings from past centuries

Maybe you need to discover – just like a miracle – something so powerful, that your entire past work as a painter, the whole past, no longer matters in the face of the new way of expression. The photography. The new discovery. But not any kind of photography, because the portrait is not a novelty for photography, needless to talk about painting. Photography even began as an attempt to replace portraiture in painting from its beginnings, truly, only in black and white. At the time, it was impressive in that it captured the detail – leading to the reaction of that realistic current in portrait painting, which tried to get closer, to compete with the photography that was starting to steal customers being on top of that, also much cheaper. It must be said that we were also dealing with the fashion established by the novelty, but also a requirement of the haste with which people wanted to be “immortal”. It didn’t take long and the photographic portrait was ready in a day or two – framed and under glass with a mat, and the photographer signed in golden letters – while a portrait made by painting could last for weeks or months, and it was often a disappointment to the client. Maybe that’s why a portrait in painting was always more successful only when the painter himself chose to do it, so to speak, he chose his subject, he was inspired by the features and spirit of man, which he discovered. So is the instant portrait in photography, which, in our opinion, is the most successful, because it can capture a feature of man, which he otherwise hides, because he does not want to let others know the essence of his soul, but the intuition of the photographer’s moment reveals that very rare secret. Of course, all these last considerations have no place here when we talk about the creation of Paul Adrian Chiş. For he pursues something else, beyond the longing for the elegance of past ages that makes him undertake a journey through time.

In each studio portrait of Paul Adrian Chiş we feel the recourse to the history of classical painting, as if the artist’s brush had been replaced only randomly by the camera lens. We discover contemporary characters, which seem to be from past epochs, because the artist-photographer descends them in time with the clothes of some past centuries of history and civilization, raising them into art. The mistress of the young woman who reminds us of the Netherlands, Mary * dressed entirely in black, surrounded by black, as if dressed in mourning long before the death of her son, Jesus, an old woman with the face furrowed by time, who he immerses himself in long-gone centuries, with a look that seems intensely fixed on the world beyond, a child with wonderful eyes from which springs amazement, completely covered by Spanish Baroque clothing.

Paul Adrian Chiş uses the background with a special call, which highlights the portrait. Sometimes trying to emphasize the chiaroscuro technique he makes with warm flashes, diffusion shadows, but also with ideally chosen background materials. And with further processing, to achieve the expected effect. Remarkable is the composition of the portrait of Mary – which we offer in the opening of this material – which keeps almost everything in the dark, except the face and the two hands, approaching each other as if ready to begin a prayer. No less successful is the portrait of the contemporary man, who impresses less with his picture than with the play of light and shadow on his face.

We often notice that the artist-photographer always adds an unexpected feature to past images of classical painting, bringing, at least in part, portraits to contemporaneity: for example, the mischievous smile of a very young princess or lipstick and eyeshadow, barely noticeable, in the image of a deep sadness of Mary or the unusual meditative posture of a child of noble vine, the glass of wine which, through a subtle reflection of light, moves through the crystal one of the eyes of a young princess, miraculously raising it.

No less ingenious is the technique of “aging” portraits, which seem to have been conceived hundreds of years ago. If we look closely at the portraits, we notice in the bright parts a texture similar to the canvas that transpires through the lighter colors in the paintings. This creates the illusion of a painting for the uninformed viewer. Or, rather, the micracol of a painting is created. And yet, it’s about photos. Photographs that, for the most part, live under the sign of the melancholy of past centuries.

The paradox of still life – this is how we call what the artist-photographer brings new in still life. We are accustomed to classical still life painting with flowers, fruits, bottles of wine, where most of the works are objects. Admittedly, a live infusion is given by fresh flowers or fruits. What is particularly innovative in the creation of Paul Adrian Chiş is the introduction of life in these still lifes. One hand – which offers a fruit or another that is about to take a fruit from the dead – dynamites the usual. And from a still life, which can give the feeling of cold, the hand illuminates and warms the photo. Apart from the surprise of the new, the great talent of the artist-photographer is that he manages to achieve this with great naturalness, but also with taste. Nothing seems forced in these compositions, even if this novelty can be perceived by the viewer as a miracle. How can a hand, a symbol of life, appear in a still life?!?

Paul Adrian Chiş is by no means a photographer whose interest is to satisfy the wishes of those who step on his doorstep in exchange for material compensation. He is an artist-photographer who creates real compositions, works of art in the field of photography and to make them happen, he uses a studio.

Maria is a name I gave her – like all the other names – because no portrait has a title. I used names to individualize some of the portraits for the reader.

Peter Sragher -President of the Bucharest branch (traduced with google translate)



Autoportret – Photo credentials and copyright: Paul Adrian Chis


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