the double portrait

while listening to a panel at the flash forward festival a few years ago, i heard a gallery owner and collector talk at length about the "double portrait." while the first image that came to mind was that of Twins by Diane Arbus, when i searched the term, i was surprised to see a famous work by 15th c painter Jan van Eyck -  the Arnolfini Wedding.

i came into art and photography through art history and actually specialized in northern renaissance painting. as such, i'm well familiar with the work of Flemish & Dutch painters from 15th to 17th century.

danny & mike | revere beach, 2013

when i looked through my portfolio, i found more than a few double portraits and over the years, i've kept this in mind.  last year on the train back to salem, i found myself in one of the older cars - the ones where two rows of seats actually face each other - and met Danny, and knew immediately i wanted to photograph him. we talked the way back and i learned about him and his boyfriend mike.

we met a month later and spent a little time on revere beach parkway which is where i took this portrait: positioned on the wall of the causeway with the grasslands and the ocean behind them, and a ledge on the right leading back to their home. the light, the soft smiles, the openness, mike's hands in his pockets while danny's hands are out and loose, the touching knees. this to me is one of the finest examples i have of the double portrait.