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Life through a lens

Capturing Depp, Jolie and Ireland - the Irish photographer searching for honesty

Kevin Abosch has taken portraits of some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, but he says it isn’t about star power or celebrity.

HE HAS PHOTOGRAPHED some of the world’s most famous facesand 250 Irish ones.

But for Irish photographer and visual artist Kevin Abosch, the recording of human life doesn’t stop there.

Despite having taken photos of the like of Jonny Depp, Scarlett Johannson and Angelina Jolie, Kevin says it is not about celebrities.

“Before I see myself as an artist or a photographer, I see myself as an anthropologist in the body of a conceptual artist who happens to work with a camera.

“I hope to find some kind of reflection on society in what I do.”

Abosch’s pictures have been praised for their lack of pretence, presenting his subjects in as open a way as possible.

The Faces of Ireland exhibition, which showed 250 Irish people, from Taoiseach to actor to farmer, resonated when it was displayed in Terminal Two of Dublin Airport just as much as a portrait of an Academy-Award winning actress.

I think when people look into an honest face, a demasked face, where the haze of reputation is removed, there is something very comforting. Just in knowing that you are sharing the human experience.

“You see both strength and vulnerability. The vulnerability doesn’t mean weakness and there’s something quite comfortable in knowing that.”

But, is it difficult to get people like Yoko Ono or Ahn San Suu Kyi to show vulnerability when strength is their forté?

“They don’t have any choice in the matter! It’s something I do and they don’t know it’s being done. I work very quickly and the subject doesn’t really have a chance to manipulate the moment.

“They can do their hair a certain way, but that’s about it.”


Kevin was back in Dublin to launch the new Sony a7R camera and says that he is constantly looking to learn.

“The main thing is that from every portrait I do, I learn something about myself.”

As a judge in the Sony World Photography Awards, Kevin says he is looking for honesty.

“I would tell people: just be yourself.

“For years I would look at other photographers and think “I wish my stuff was as cool as that”, but most of the time you’re just talking about aesthetics.

Stay honest and it will come through in your work.

Read: This is Ireland… in 250 faces

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