Bare Truth

Bare Truth is a captivating collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humble, courageous and vulnerable. Their photographs expose Read More…

Bare Truth

Commenced in 2014, Bare Truth is a captivating collection of portraits of New Zealand men who are humblecourageous and vulnerable. In this ongoing work I explore contemporary masculinity of Auckland men from different age groups and all walks of life. Their photographs expose who they really are. Their edgy portraits are presented in monochrome to emphasize their shape and form. The simple background eliminates distractions so the viewer can focus on their body language and facial expressions. The combination of using a soft, directional light while adapting a special post-processing technique, enables me to enhance their features so the images are raw and crisp. They look directly into my camera so there is always a highlight in their eyes.
The idea of creating portraits of men who expose their chest evolved gradually. The biggest challenge was finding the first man to agree to pose. After a few rejections and setbacks, I created a portrait of a close friend and became really engaged with the look in his eyes. Many cultures portray men as strong, physically and emotionally. This stereotype sometimes leads to dire outcomes when considering how poorly typical men treat health symptoms, depression, stress and anxiety. One of the goals of this project is to raise awareness; give men freedom to express their feelings and connect to their emotions. This fresh look at men is an eye opening opportunity to see the real people without the ‘shield’ of clothes. We are all flesh and blood and we are here on this planet for a short period of time. This project simply reminds us of how fragile we are.
It takes us just one-tenth of a second to judge someone and make a first impression so it’s fascinating to see how quickly we form our opinion based solely on physical appearance. It’s been said that photography is the easiest medium of Art to be competent in but it’s the hardest medium in which to have a truly personal vision. It’s very much like talking: everyone can talk but very few have something to say. In creating this collection, I aim to demonstrate a clear style, to tell a story while being imaginative and thought-provoking. My goal is to present work that is strong and distinguished with a clear narrative sense. I wish to inspire people with images that are crisp and sharp, to be creative and artistic, to evoke emotions and to show a personal vision.

At the beginning I asked only friends to participate. After gaining valuable experience and formalising a consistent style, I expanded the portfolio and became confident in approaching total strangers. Having a small folio helped in overcoming objections, until the project gained a critical mass with dozens of portraits. Once the portfolio increased in size, I became more selective and started approaching men who had a more interesting appearance; those whose face tells a story. While some men are very comfortable with having their portrait created, others feel this is completely outside their comfort zone. The Bare Truth project gained further momentum after selected prints from this body of work won prestigious awards at the Portrait Classic category of the 2015 Iris Awards from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. 50 prints from this series were later chosen to be exhibited at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and as part of the Signature Programme at the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography; the series contains over 300 portraits and celebrates Auckland’s diverse communities.

Many thanks to Ron Brownson, Senior Curator of New Zealand and Pacific Art at the Auckland Art Gallery, who critiqued my initial folio and inspired me to expand it.

Check out opening night talk by Ron Brownson.
© Copyright - Ilan Wittenberg 2022 | All Rights Reserved | Auckland Photographer of the Year - The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography | T & C






    Congratulations on considering an original photographic artwork by Ilan Wittenberg
    • Prices are in NZ$, include GST and shipping world wide

    • Prints are available in limited edition (+2 AP)

    • Each print is hand signed by Ilan Wittenberg, all rights reserved

    • Prints are made on Epson Ultra-Premium photo paper luster

    • The artwork’s copyright is exclusively held by © Ilan Wittenberg

    • Please avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight

    • Each print has 1-2 inches of white border (which contains Ilan’s handwritten signature) and ideal margin for framing

    • Framing is a personal choice and should enhance the print while fitting the environment your artwork is to be displayed in

    • Your print will be shipped to you carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube

    • Please frame your artwork as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any damage.






      Congratulations on considering an original photographic artwork by Ilan Wittenberg
      • Prices are in NZ$, include GST and shipping world wide

      • Prints are available in limited edition (+2 AP)

      • Each print is hand signed by Ilan Wittenberg, all rights reserved

      • Prints are made on Epson Ultra-Premium photo paper luster

      • The artwork’s copyright is exclusively held by © Ilan Wittenberg

      • Please avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight

      • Each print has 1-2 inches of white border (which contains Ilan’s handwritten signature) and ideal margin for framing

      • Framing is a personal choice and should enhance the print while fitting the environment your artwork is to be displayed in

      • Your print will be shipped to you carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube

      • Please frame your artwork as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any damage.






        Congratulations on considering an original photographic artwork by Ilan Wittenberg
        • Prices are in NZ$, include GST and shipping world wide

        • Prints are available in limited edition (+2 AP)

        • Each print is hand signed by Ilan Wittenberg, all rights reserved

        • Prints are made on Epson Ultra-Premium photo paper luster

        • The artwork’s copyright is exclusively held by © Ilan Wittenberg

        • Please avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight

        • Each print has 1-2 inches of white space border (which contains Ilan’s handwritten signature) and ideal margin for framing

        • Framing is a personal choice and should enhance the print while fitting the environment your artwork is to be displayed in

        • Your print will be shipped to you carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube

        • Please frame your artwork as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any damage.






          Congratulations on considering an original photographic artwork by Ilan Wittenberg
          • Prices are in NZ$, include GST and shipping world wide

          • Prints are available in limited edition (+2 AP)

          • Each print is hand signed by Ilan Wittenberg, all rights reserved

          • Prints are made on Epson Ultra-Premium photo paper luster

          • The artwork’s copyright is exclusively held by © Ilan Wittenberg

          • Please avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight

          • Each print has 1-2 inches of white space border (which contains Ilan’s handwritten signature) and ideal margin for framing

          • Framing is a personal choice and should enhance the print while fitting the environment your artwork is to be displayed in

          • Your print will be shipped to you carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube

          • Please frame your artwork as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any damage.






            Congratulations on considering an original photographic artwork by Ilan Wittenberg
            • Prices are in NZ$, include GST and shipping world wide

            • Prints are available in limited edition (+2 AP)

            • Each print is hand signed by Ilan Wittenberg, all rights reserved

            • Prints are made on Epson Ultra-Premium photo paper luster

            • The artwork’s copyright is exclusively held by © Ilan Wittenberg

            • Please avoid displaying your artwork in direct sunlight

            • Each print has 1-2 inches of white border (which contains Ilan’s handwritten signature) and ideal margin for framing

            • Framing is a personal choice and should enhance the print while fitting the environment your artwork is to be displayed in

            • Your print will be shipped to you carefully rolled inside a cardboard tube

            • Please frame your artwork as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any damage.