In 2011, on a trip to South Africa for an exhibition, Gary Schneider began a series of handprint portraits of South African artists. Having grown up in South Africa, which he left in 1977 at the age of twenty-three, Schneider realised that this would not be an overview of South African art but rather a way to reconnect with a country that still has an enormous influence on his work.
In this previously unpublished body of work, Gary Schneider presents a haunting series of nudes and faces that emerge and seem to float above a receding black ground. Each image is rendered through a long exposure and by exploring the surfaces of the skin with a small handheld light. Due to the prolonged time required and the inevitable movements and consequent distortions that occur in the process, the results both reveal and obscure the intimate physical details and personality of the individual who poses.