Thursday, October 8, 2009

Time Out New York: The Rza

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York is musician, and now author, The Rza!

This piece is a perfect example to me of the main reason why I enjoy doing these weekly Hot Seat portraits--the freedom to experiment.

After I was told who the subject was, I went looking for reference shots of Rza, and there was one where he had his hands in front of the camera, making a sort of "W" sign.

I liked that look, but wanted to do something different with the colors--for whatever reason, I got the idea in my head to make the hands that right in front your face solid white, to make them abstract. Then I would color the shirt with just one or two colors, then go for full-color on the face.

I'm not sure why I got so attached to that idea, but I wanted to try it. Now that I have, I can look at it with some distance and see whether the idea works or not, and whether I should bother to try it again.

But that's one of the nicest things about doing these portraits ever week for over four years(!)--Time Out New York allows me to try different things, which is an extraordinary amount of freedom. And even after 200+ portraits, I still look forward to doing these pieces, week after week.

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