VIEW FINDER: PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM COUPON
Dutch artists such as Hans Holbein and Rembrandt van Rijn used warm palettes and indirect light in their intimate portraits of nobility and commoners alike. Inspired by the aesthetics in such works of classical art, photographer William Coupon’s studio portraits, shot against painted backdrops and lit by a single source, present an up close and personal view of his subjects.
A documentary photographer, Coupon, whose exhibition Portraits continues at Photo-eye Bookstore and Project Space through Jan. 5, 2019, has been shooting ethnographic subjects and notable cultural icons for more than 40 years. Coupon’s subjects include the Quechua people of Bolivia, Haitians, Australian Aborigines, Moroccan Berbers, and New Guinea tribesmen, as well as figures in the arts, athletics, politics, and other spheres. He’s shot portraits of artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and musicians Miles Davis, George Harrison, and Neil Young. “I was always inspired by travel, by culture, by faces — for some reason, I have been drawn to formal portraits and their relationship to painting,” the Santa Fe-based photographer said. Coupon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Time,
Newsweek, and Rolling Stone. He photographed tribal leaders from around the world at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and has exhibited internationally. He signs copies of his new monograph William Coupon:
Portraits, published by Damiani in 2018, on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. during a reception. For information, call Photo-eye Bookstore (300 Rufina Circle, Suite A3) at 505-988-5152.
In addition, on Dec. 14, Peters Projects (1011 Paseo de Peralta, 505-954-5800) opens William Coupon: Music Speak, an exhibition of Coupon’s portraits of jazz musicians. The reception is at 5 p.m.
— Michael Abatemarco
William Coupon: Australian Aboriginal Boy, Utopia Station, Australia, 1980, gelatin silver print