Mark Berghash (1935- ), Aspects of the True-Self, Serial Portrait of Dan Pagis, b. Radautz, Bukowina 1930, 1981; Ten gelatin silver prints with hand-written text mounted on paper board, Image: 15 ¾ x 15 ½ in. each; paper: 16 1/8 x 15 ¾ in. each; board: 28 x 22 in. each; Gift of the artist
Born in Buffalo in 1935, Mark Berghash studied painting, philosophy and psychology at the University of Buffalo, University of Vienna, Austria, and Art Students League in New York. His work reflects the collaborative nature of his artistic process portraying multiple aspects of the personalities he encounters. For his compelling series Jews and Germans documenting Jewish Holocaust survivors and their German contemporaries, he encouraged each sitter to “Let your thoughts, feelings and ideas come by themselves.” They used a remote shutter release so his presence would not interfere with their experience. Their images were matched with excerpts of simultaneous recordings of their thoughts. Dan Pagis, the subject of this “serial portrait,” is a Professor of University of Medieval Hebrew Poetry and Hebrew poet. It portrait was first part of Indelible Images, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City in 1982. The completed project, Jews & Germans, was exhibited at the California Museum of Photography in 1985–86.
Some of Berghash’s other series include Portraits of the Rooted & Uprooted, Alter Ego Portraits, Segmented Nudes, and Photems, in collaboration with Rima Gervolina and Valeriy Gervolin. His work has been collected, exhibited, and published around the globe. —NW