Look at Me: Contemporary Portrait Photography

9 September - 7 November 2020 Aachen

In the next exhibition, the ARTCO Gallery in Aachen presents photographic works by four internationally renowned artists who interpret the subject of portraiture in a very individual way.


Justin Dingwall, born 1983 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is one of the most successful portrait photographers in his country. Dingwall wants his works to celebrate another beauty. The unique and different finds his special interest. "I want my work to speak for itself and for people who interpret it in their own way. I want people to be touched by my paintings... As long as someone feels something, I have achieved my goal. The exhibition features works from various series, including "Fly by Night" and, most recently, "Beautiful Terrible".


Toyin Loye was born in Nigeria in 1959 and studied fine arts at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions on all continents. He lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands. The works shown here focus on the transfer of ancient rituals of African peoples to the present day. The signs carved into the skin served the Yoruba as a means of social identification of the tribe or family. Loye's concern is to convey the significance of dying practices and to relate them to today's ideals of beauty.


William Ropp, born in 1960 in Versailles, France, is an internationally successful photographer who is also known as the "shadow sculptor" because of his special style. He often places his models in complete darkness and then uses extremely long exposure times. With an old flash light he creates a partly mystical looking illumination. In his photographs, Ropp wants to capture that which the people he portrays do not carry out into the world, that which normally remains hidden. Especially his portraits of children are impressive proof of this.


Imraan Christian, born in Cape Town, is a young South African photographer and filmmaker. He is an artist and activist at the same time and describes himself as "son of the soil". In recent years he has worked on projects with UNICEF, CNN, BBC world services, Nike and Vogue Italia, among others. Christian gained international recognition with his documentary about the student riots in South Africa in 2015/16. The exhibition will present works from his new series "Crown". In these photographs, it was his intention to honour their common ancestors and their connection to the cosmos. Drawings from different indigenous cultures show that during a ritual the skin was darkened with pigments to embody the dark depth of the cosmos.