Image of Persona
Release Date: 
September 7, 2021
Reviewed by: 

Persona is the ultimate and quintessential definition of the genre classified as coffee table books. Its sheer weight of over 20 pounds and its monumental size can only be categorized as an astounding accomplishment and achievement by both author and photographer, François Nars, and by Rizzoli.

Marina Schiano writes, “Talent is a rare gift. It is not given and cannot be summoned. And if you have it, you can nurture it. But transforming this gift into a life of achievement—now, that’s an art.”  

Nars came on the scene as a make-up artist and brand in the eighties; in addition, he turned his hobby of photography into an artform in which he excels to the extreme. His collection of portraiture brings a feeling of being awestruck, mesmerized, hypnotized, and just plain astounded with the impact and power that this volume yields.

“Each face is a shock, almost an embrace. François knows to capture the precise instant   that expresses the being of his subjects in all their peculiarity, as well as the complexity and richness of their personality,” writes Marina Schiano.

Readers must prepare themselves for the fact they probably will not recognize all the faces nor will those faces be only the famous; but when assembled at this size and with this presentation, it is hard not to impress and capture the interest of any fan of fashion or photography. Even the though the subjects are an array of talent that come from so many of the creative arts, their identity remains secondary to the images themselves.

There really are not enough superlatives to properly describe this assemblage of portraiture given the volume’s physicality and presentation. It is easy to feel gobsmacked by its content, presentation, and the artist who created it.