He, New Zealander Carlo van de Roer, intended to go to Europe, but lack of cash and the .Com boom kept him in New York where he easily found work starting off as an photography assistent. He’s still there now, no longer as a photography assistent but as photographer. Recently he’s published a book of his aura pictures, The Portrait Machine, in which he explores portraiting. The book shows a collection of aura portraits, made using a special camera that photographs a person’s aura that can’t be seen by the human eye. Whether or not you believe in aura’s or spirituality, Carlo’s intentions are different from what the aura tells about the people in the portrait and how that person is perceived by others. These images also question portraiting in general. Where does the authorship of the portrait lie? The photographer has no control of the image, the connection in the photo is between the subject and the camera. The camera creates the image, the colors. The photography process has become a powerplay.
Light plays a big role in his work, as you can see in the Orb photo’s and Blinded by the Light series (taken in the Museum of Natural History). His work expresses the spiritual and paranormal world, even if he does not believe in spirituality himself. It’s after this that Carlo started The Portrait Machine series. There’s an element of uncovering in his work. As a child, photography was a means of learning for Carlo as he explored the world in National Geographic magazines. The photo’s uncovered what was beyond the horizon he could see.
The series ‘Unmoored’ below are made by destructing the photo. Carlo learned to change and shift the fluids of the chromogenic photo’s, the RGB color dyes, in the print, thereby recreating the photographs using this special effect.
To learn more about the aura photo’s, check out his website, and make sure to click on the images. You’ll find an explanation of how to read the aura photographs.