Wimberley High School Football Players Step into Sfumato Portraits - Photographer George Krause Sheds Blended Light on his Subjects

The photography of George Krause has influenced photographers and filmmakers around the world for half a century. With all that international fame brings, he has somehow managed to remain firmly grounded in his environment, an integral part of his genius.

Approaching one of his more recent projects with typical brilliance, he has created Sfumato portraits where most elements outside the head are neutralized across a unique presentaion ...uniformed football players.

Here, the Wimberley High School Texans provide beautiful subjects for his lens. Texas State Champions of 2005, the team members share "the essence"(1) of their personalities with us in these thoughtful and deeply interesting portraits.

The photographs of George Krause are in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. He recently retired from the University of Houston where he created the  photography program and now lives in Wimberley, Texas.

(1) From a review of the work of George Krause by Peter Ireland, Wanganui, New Zealand 1998

"The post-Renaissance tradition of the portrait representing, as it does, a faith that the head can stand for the whole and even convey the essence of a person, assumes the convention of chiaroscuro, the effects of light and shade that define the features and three-dimensionality of physiognomy. This convention typically assumes that the principal features will be, literally, highlighted, with the secondary features in degrees of shadow...

"The Sfumato portraits, by contrast have the light source coming in at the back of the head, producing the strange effect whereby it is the principal features that are in shadow and the secondary features highlighted. And such is the intensity of this light that in most of these portraits the outer limits of the heads have disappeared, so that the unframed features float disturbingly in a suggestive and destabilized space. Conventional portraiture has been subverted with the photographer exchanging the role of portraitist for that of geographer and geologist."