Soldier: Mickelson-length of service unknown, Fort Drum, NY
These two works are part of a large series of soldiers’ portraits by the New York–based photographer Suzanne Opton. Opton photographed Claxton and Mickelson on their return to Fort Drum, New York, from service in Afghanistan and Iraq. Asking each to rest his head on a table, she shot the horizontal face close up, against a dark background. The images of these disembodied heads reveal every pore and blemish, even a wandering eyelash. Psychological portraits more than traditional representations of heroes, the exposed faces seem thoughtful and oddly tranquil, vulnerable in their naked intimacy.
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