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[Photos] Portraits of coal miners

[Photos] Portraits of coal miners

The New York Times recently published an article examining Europe’s declining coal sector with haunting imagery from French photographer Pierre Gonnord. The portrait-style images tell a story of the harsh physical and mental conditions of coal mining, and the toll it takes on a person. 

Miner: Angel (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Marcelino (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Since 2009, Gonnord has photographed miners as they re-emerge from coal mines in northern Spanish mines of Carbonar, Monsacro, Pozo Santiago, Maria Luisa, Candid, Nicolasa, Tineo, Cerredo and Villablino. 

“The men look as if they have been standing too close to a bomb detonation,” said Nathaniel Rich, author of the article.

“Their faces are caked in toxic dust and dried sweat, the whiteness of their eyes accentuated by coal eyeliner. Their expressions combine pride, melancholy and bewilderment. In their poses and demeanors, taken together with Gonnord’s palette — dominated by olives, blacks and grays — the photographs recall Diego de Silva y Velázquez’s dreamy, disconcertingly lifelike oil portraits.”

Miner: Gregorio (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Jose Manuel (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Jesus (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Angel (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Julius (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

(Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Miner: Juan (Source: Pierre Gonnord/Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)

Read the full story here