Soulful Portrait Project Captures Diverse Faces Around the World

Faces by Serge Anton

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After spending 30 years traveling around the world, Belgian photographer Serge Anton has certainly seen a lot of faces. Intrigued by the nuanced, soulful people he met over the course of voyages to Asia and Africa, Anton began capturing these exotic expressions through artistic portraits. The result is Faces, a photography book that captures, without words, the universal spirit of cultures around the world.

Interestingly, Anton specializes in architecture and interior photography; yet here, he shows his deft hand in photographing intimate portrait. His mastery of portraiture comes from years of fascination with human nature, something cultivated from an early age. “Since my childhood I have been fascinated by faces,” Anton writes in the foreword of Faces. “I keep observing them, trying to read them, to understand and feel what they express. As a child, I felt literally surrounded by books with human faces.”

Seeing the face as a mirror to the soul, Anton's portraits are an artistic look at the nuances of each person's features. And through these features, whether deep wrinkles reflecting age and wisdom or the rounded cheeks of a smiling child, viewers are pulled into the spirit of the sitter. Without any words to accompany the imagery, Anton asks viewers to look beyond the particular place a person lives and simply see the soul within. Through these worldless stories, the universal nature of mankind shines through.

“‘The face is the mirror of the soul.'… It is the reflection of what the human being hides deep inside, spiritually and emotionally, a state of soul, a fleeting or transient expression. I like to capture a fragment, to grasp what is revealed in a furtive instant and belongs only to this unique moment.”

Serge Anton's Faces is the culmination of 30 years of traveling and photographing artistic portraits around the globe.

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Serge Anton: Website | Instagram

All images via Serge Anton, courtesy of Lannoo Publishers.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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