Carlos Von Der Heyde’s International Portraiture Project from Quarantine

100+ portraits from 25+ countries across six continents, taken on a Nikon via a computer screen

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NYC-based, Argentine photographer Carlos Von Der Heyde travels the world, capturing images of friends and family, from the safety of his apartment. His series, which the artist plans to transform into a book, shines a light upon the socio-psychological impact of isolation around the world and encourages hope for artists eager to find new approaches to their craft. Von Der Heyde took more than 100 portraits, with subjects in some 25 countries.

“These are all relatives, friends and acquaintances from around the globe,” he explains to us. “For each exposure (of the subject and accompanying object, texture or spot), I photographed my computer screen with my Nikon camera during video conferences I held with the sitters via Zoom or Skype. The original captures were all in RAW format, which allowed me to make minor edits before taking a second photo of each image on my computer’s screen; that is why the resulting images are crude, grainy and unclear and, in many instances, outright pixelated.”

This stylistic choice pairs with the photographer’s desire to emphasize the unifying, albeit kinetic power of technology. “Each of the digital layers interposed between the sitters and my lens had a two-fold connotation: they acted as imaginary bridges between my reclusion and theirs, and they also resembled impenetrable safeguards preventing the seemingly unstoppable virus from conquering new territories,” he shares. Despite the images’ grit and grain, one will find an optimism in the series—not just in the family reunited in NYC, but also with the isolated father in Tokyo and the anxious mother in Moscow.

Images by Carlos Von Der Heyde