Portraits by IMPREINT

Portrait from Ghana. Courtesy of IMPREINT

Just who is this enigmatic artist called IMPREINT whose works have been making the rounds on the Internet? We know for certain that he (yes, it’s a he) has a whimsical sense of humour, as evidenced by his photographs of smiling individuals holding balloons in different places around the world. He also prefers to let his body of work speak for itself rather than wax lyrical about his motivations, evading questions like “why IMPREINT” with haiku-esque reticence (“to create a concept and not only a person”). At any rate, Portraits is deeply striking for its simplicity: while being devoid of narrative, the entire project elegantly drifts through different cultural spaces, much like the balloons photographed in every scene. 

Says IMPREINT of Portraits: “I started [the project] on 16 December 2013 as a natural consequence of the 1000 balloons I had painted a year before. Balloons are like people: they’re all different and imperfect in different ways. I experimented with different ideas – first, I made a series of stop motion videos with pictures of people holding balloons. Then I collected photos sent from all over the world. These two approaches led me think that a scene could be looked at from various perspectives, so I decided to run Portraits for one year. In a way this is like a conversation with the public, based on a concept – a dream to evolve in a natural and spontaneous way.”

Images courtesy of the artist.

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