A person's face is the key to reading their personality. So we expect an artistic portrait to convey much more than simply a person's outer appearance – we are looking for an insight into who they are. Awareness was at the root of Leonore Mau's photographic work, documenting Afro-American religions in Brazil, the Caribbean and Miami as well as psychiatric villages in Africa.
Reflected in her subject's faces are the trance states induced by the rituals of Macumba, Candomblé and Santerìa, and the internal states of the mentally ill under the influence of psychotherapeutic drugs. The success of Leonore Mau's portraits lies in her ability to approach her subjects from a psychological angle, and their social environment from an anthropological and sociological position.
Her images are all the more fascinating as they depict a phenomenon in which most viewers do not generally believe: the presence of Gods in the body and spirit of the ordained.
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