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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Present Tense

An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age

Previous exhibition from Thursday 20 May 2010 until Sunday 22 August 2010
Lucy, 2001
Lucy, 2001

Technology has been a major influence on art since the invention of the camera, particularly in the field of portraiture. The digital revolution of the 1980s-1990s has altered how portraits are made and what a portrait might be. This exhibition will explore how new ways of imaging reflect the individual in this digital world and the mechanisms of imaging that are used.

6 portraits

Related people

Michael Desmond (curator)

Related information

Lucy, 2001
Lucy, 2001
Lucy, 2001
Lucy, 2001

Technical terminology

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age.

Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole
Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole
Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole
Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole

Skater

Portraits by Nikki Toole

Previous exhibition, 2012

Nikki Toole has travelled the world to photograph skateboarders.

Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey
Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey
Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey
Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey

OBEY

Shepard Fairey Posters

Previous exhibition, 2009

Shepard Fairey is best known for his iconic poster Obama/Hope which he made in support of Barack Obama for the 2008 US election.

Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller
Cate Blanchett, 2006 by Martin Schoeller

Martin Schoeller

Close up

Previous exhibition, 2010

German-born American photographer Martin Schoeller's first exhibition in Australia presents compelling large-scale portraits. The exhibition explores human identity through photographs of individuals accustomed and unaccustomed to the spotlight.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.