Portrait of Isabelle, 2007
The photograph is from an exhibition entitled "Thirteen" by German professional photographer Janina Wick. It shows a young female ice skater leaning against the wall in a sports center. The elaborate costume, hairstyle, and makeup shows that she is not a casual skater, but one who trains for formal competition. The artist created this series of images in the tradition of formal portrait photography, to explore the way her subjects—young girls in early adolescence—portray themselves and at the same time reveal unintended vulnerability, awkwardness, and cultural aspects of the feminine adult world they aspire to enter. Wick photographs these young women in their own surroundings, wearing their own clothing. She takes multiple exposures, mostly allowing her subjects to pose themselves, but preferring the three-quarter portrait over full-frontal camera shots.
Photograph "Isabelle" by Janina Wick from the exhibition catalogue Thirteen: Janina Wick/Ann-Christin Bertrand, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin, 2008 (accessed October 30, 2009). Annotated by Susan Douglass.