It’s hard not to feel like an overzealous dermatologist examining the subjects of Richard Learoyd’s exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery. His large-scale direct-positive images reveal a degree of epidermal detail one usually only gets to see while making out under an interrogation lamp. The shallow depth of field that marks Learoyd’s portraits and that shows imperfections with pitiless clarity—a rough patch here, an incipient pimple there, weirdly dilated pupils—somewhat mitigates the monumental quality lent them by the size of the images and the solid, sometimes brilliant hues he clothes his models in (when he clothes them).
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