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Thursday, 27 February 2014

PIFAL - honouring the arts and letters

PIFAL, or Portraits of illustrious figures of the arts and letters, is another Flickr group dedicated to portraits. More specifically, as its name so aptly says, portraits of known artists, writers, actors, etc.

What I think is interesting about this group, apart from the very impressive work I see there, is that I get to discover artists and writers from different corners of the world and of whom I had never heard before.

For my first contribution I chose to make a portrait of the Portuguese writer José Saramago. I have read a few of his books (ex. Blindness) and, after some getting used to his style, I really love reading his stories. They are always very intelligent and philosophocal, and never boring.

So I thought it would be a way of promoting him a little.

José Saramago
I love how bored he looks in this picture
In keeping with my idea of promoting Portuguese artists, I chose Fernando Pessoa as my next subject. He's been sketched and caricatured so much already that I think I got a bit influenced by the portraits I have seen of him more than by the reference photo.

He must be one of the most interesting poets I know of. He created various personas (called heteronyms) under whose names and personalities he would write. They were not simple pen names, but more like separate writers with different lives, interests and styles.

Fernando Pessoa for PIFAL
Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, Álvaro de Campos, Bernardo Soares, etc.
For my last contribution so far I chose Romy Schneider. Most people know her better for her iconic role as Austrian empress Sissi, and that's also how I discovered her when I was a child.

But she grew out of that role when she moved to France to become one of the country's most beloved actresses.

She even starred in Hollywood movies (e.g. Orson Welles' The Trial and What's new Pussycat? with Peter O'Toole, Woody Allen and Peter Sellers).

Her acting was always very humane and sensitive. To me she embodies what most actresses should strive for.

Romy Schneider
She even learned style from Coco Chanel herself