The Blood Portrait project is an ongoing exploration and developing body of work that uses human blood as a medium for portraiture. It represents a Postdigital approach to printmaking that addresses the interplay between analog, digital, and biological systems.
Beginning in late 2011, I began experiments to identify the various ways of altering the chemistry of human blood in order to produce a predictable, consistent, and archival material for photographic printing and printmaking.
The first iteration of this work as seen here, focused on halftone and continuous tone photographic prints, is credited as historically the first to use human blood in the creation of photographic portraits made through photo-chemical and photo-mechanical means.
Blood has deeply rooted symbolic meaning for all cultures, represents powerful ideas as well as social taboos, and is a unifying life-force held in common by all people. These portraits are printed in the blood of the person represented. Through Postdigital methodologies, I aim to create visual records that move past social identifiers, including nationality, race, age, gender, and sexual orientation, in a medium and bridges analog, digital, and bio-chemical processes.
These are not merely pictures of people, they are in essence a lasting and tangible piece of the people themselves. Through this work, my hope is that viewers will confront their own perceptions of what makes us who we are, the social judgements that we impose upon one another, and the boundaries between humanity and artistic object .
© Francesco Fragomeni, 2013 - 2016