Charlotte Oestervang – Kentucky Portraits

Comparisons between Charlotte Oestervang “ Kentucky Portraits” and Richard Avedon “In the American West”

Oestervang’s photographs are mainly straight-ahead portraiture but always show her subjects in their own environment. This gives a context to their lives that is absent from Avedon’s portraits in “In the American West”. Whereas Avedon photographs his subjects in studio settings, so that any interpretation comes solely from the subjects themselves, Oestervang allows the location to provide additional context to her subjects. The effect is that her subjects become more real than Avedon’s, they have an existence outside of the photographic frame. Avedon’s by contrast rely much more on his vision for how they should be interpreted.

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