Mirjana Vrbaski
Stacks Image 4899
Girl, 2008
Inkjet Print
From and edition of Seven
From the collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell
Mirjana Vrbaski finds her portrait subjects through chance encounters on the street, never photographing people she actually knows. Her practice involves trying, as much as possible, to empty the portrait of any clues to the sitter’s personality or identity as an individual in order to portray a universal state of being and an essential humanity. With this aim, Vrbaski sidesteps a long history of portraiture meant to communicate not only the identity, but even the status and wealth of its subjects, and looks instead to early Christian icons, whose anonymous makers depicted saints and even Jesus in such a generic way as to make them interchangeable, allowing viewers to see beyond the mundane to the divine.