Alfa - Portraits of Slovenian Actors
A photography exhibition by Jernej Jelen
The exhibition’s concept focuses on exploring the phenomenon of the alpha male, in particular, the idea of masculinity and the characteristics that manifest in the male physique. Alpha males are usually seen as strong and confident individuals who exude power and authority, but the definition of an alpha male is not limited to these characteristics. In the world of photography, the concept of alpha masculinity can be portrayed in a more nuanced, artistic way, with each photograph capturing a different aspect of what alpha means – from the physical attributes such as a strong jawline, muscular physique or sharply cut facial features, to the emotional side, which paradoxically includes sensitivity and empathy. Such an aspect lends a new and refreshing perspective to the traditional definition of the alpha male, and the use of black-and-white techniques is particularly effective in capturing the essence of the protagonists’ characters. The black and white photography, with its minimalist and unobtrusive backgrounds and enhancement of the contrast of contours and shadows, emphasises above all the authentic and often raw emotions of the protagonists, as well as the many weaknesses and vulnerabilities that we usually want to hide from the public eye, even though they are an inalienable and admirable part of masculinity and ultimately of humanity.