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    Now Open: The Portraits of Gregory Heisler

    February 6

    Portrait of Muhammad AliThe Portraits of Gregory Heisler presents large-scale images captured by one of professional photography’s most respected practitioners. Heisler’s iconic portraits of celebrities, athletes, and world leaders, many of which have appeared as cover images for well-known magazines, are instantly recognizable for their technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness.

    Representing a career that spans over 35 years, The Portraits of Gregory Heisler presents a small but powerful overview of Heisler’s career photographing some of the world’s most influential persons.

    The Portraits of Gregory Heisler opens Feb. 6 at Palitz Gallery and runs until April 17. There are 16 works in the exhibition, including images of Pete Seeger, Joyce Carol Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Muhammed Ali, and Liv Tyler. Palitz Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is free and open to the public. The exhibition is closed for University holidays. Palitz Gallery is located at 11 East 61st St. Contact 212.826.0320, email lubin@syr.edu, or visit the gallery’s website for more information.

    Curated by Domenic Iacono, director of the Syracuse University Art Galleries, the exhibition explores the artist’s relationship with those he works with and the rapport he builds.

    “I think Gregory Heisler’s portrait work is remarkable for two important reasons,” says Iacono. “We get a sense that the sitter trusts Heisler, and at the same time, we, the viewers, trust that Heisler's portrayal of the sitter is honest.”

    Companies such as Nike, United Technologies, and American Express have tapped the photographer for major advertising campaigns. His photographs have been used on the covers of magazines including Time, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and more.

    “The person behind the camera controls the lighting, location, composition, and numerous other factors during a shoot,” says Iacono. “The camera can capture more than what happens in front of the lens in the hands of an artist like Heisler.”

    Iacono says that The Portraits of Gregory Heisler details how the artist controls how we look at the people in the images. Subjects in some of the portraits may appear larger than life, caught in what appears to be an intimate moment of thought. Sometimes they are in a completely staged environment that helps reveal the sitter more completely. Even photographs taken for a corporate client or a private commission come across as quintessential Heisler. 

    “Heisler respects his sitters, and each portrait gives us an opportunity to learn more about the sitter using our own judgments,” says Iacono. “His photographs are personal, often created during short visits, but full of information for the viewer who looks closely at the pictures.”