“The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” – Proverb
The key feature of the human face is the eyes. When we first meet another person, we make eye contact. The eyes are what we look at when we talk with another person to ensure they understand us; to ensure we understand them. Eyes express the truth of what a person feels, thinks or believes. As writers and philosophers have noted through millennia, the eyes interpret what the soul believes.
In this context, then, the focus only on eyes in “A sense of his soul” strips away any cultural identification; clothing, hair style or other traits, characteristics or traditions that would identify a person from a specific area or culture are absent thereby making all subjects in this work equal in the eyes of the viewer. We can learn about them only from what their eyes tell us.
U.S. President George W. Bush, after his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, remarked that he “looked the man in the eye… [and] was able to get a sense of his soul.”
In Central and Eastern Europe, politics are still relatively unvarnished, few if any “handlers” exist and Photoshop is not liberally applied to photos. Political candidates use posters that include portraits of themselves to generate interest and, hopefully, votes in the coming election. Posters that, presumably, the candidates personally choose the portrait for. Portraits that the candidates feel best represent how they want to be seen and perceived by the voting populace.
This series, shot during recent elections in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania, attempts to give us a glimpse into the mind of the politicians that run today’s countries by focusing only on their eyes in the portraits from their political posters.
Look, then, into the eyes of these politicians and gain a sense of their souls.
Vote for me.