Peter Nohrnberg is a poet, photographer, literary critic, and occassional consultant. A former British Marshall Scholar, he holds degrees in English literature from Harvard, Oxford and Yale. He has been taking...
Unlike typical family photos, which tend to take the form of candid snapshots, these portraits represent a more studied sort of photographic re-presentation of a family with a deep interest in visual culture. The formal, and often outright contrived qualities of the photographs mirrors the performative aspect and collaborative insticts of their (mostly young) subjects. Rather than trying to capture some sort of "essence" of youth captured unawares, they offer images that speak to the importance of dress-up, play, and make-believe in the life of children, for whom Harry Potter and Batman are as real as anyone else. All children might be said to see the world through a distorted looking glass of fantasy, but of course, so do all adults. The series includes family portraits (and self-portraits) that drawn on myths that have shaped my own understanding of the world, from the tragic ironies of Classical literature (e.g., the story of Laocoön) to the lone suffering of saints and the genius of artists.