Paraphrase - Hand

December 06, 2023 · Stockholm

So, the assignment was to “paraphrase” a portrait, by drawing inspiration from another portrait (could be a photo, painting, sculpture etc) and make your version of it.

I chose the first picture as an inspiration, it’s a photography by Yusuf Karsh, a photographer that did portraits of statesmen and artists in the 40s to 80s. He has a series where he took pictures of hands, this one is Eleanor Roosevelt’s.

My version of it is me holding the fountain pen that I used during my university studies. French schools have a fascination for fountain pens, so I have memories of struggling to use one when I was in primary school.

Then this was one of the first items I bought when I landed in France, because I knew I would be using it a lot. Fountain pens adapt to your handwriting so you feel a special connection with them after using them for a while.

It’s also the pen that was with me during my formative years, when I left my teenage years to become a “real adult”, and I used that same pen to sign the paperwork that would take me to Texas then to Sweden.

It carries so much of my history that I felt like I was taking a portrait of myself even without having my face on the picture.