Portrait photography is the art medium for the millennium age. We snap a duck-face selfie with our bestie and then swap faces, all within the blink of an eye. Has it been our own vanity that has thrusted selfie-photography as the zeitgeist form of art? We’d like to think that our kits are filled with more than our camera rolls. When we’re bombarded by more images from around the world than ever before, it’s not easy to “stop and smell the roses.” However, that is precisely the vibrant charm of Alfred Drago Rens, who has plucked vintage photographs from the flea markets of France, Holland, and Italy only to colourfully reimagine them within a contemporary context.
What began as a personal project and genealogical investigation into his own roots, Alfred Drago Rens has turned in to a kaleidoscopic series of fine art manipulated photographs for The Public House of Art. His colourful artworks are seeded in the family tree as he pays homage to the genesis of Cubism and contemporary elements of glitch art. “Colour is the first form of rebellion,” says Alfred, and that is something we can agree with. New life and personality are breathed into each character in the artist’s work through blocks of colour that translate as the sitter’s aura. Alfred’s art bears the question – What colour is your aura?
Alfred Drago Rens of Italian/ Dutch origin has lived and worked in Milan as an artist and designer since 1988. His work is steeped in the obsessive nature of the collector, as he has been gathering vintage photographs and objects related to his family and others for many years. His personal motto is: Observe, collect, connect. I like that, and that I do.”