Earlier this year my brother gave me a subscription to The New Yorker. While I love the print edition I still enjoy visiting their website. Yesterday I discovered Portraits of Power, an interactive portfolio of portraits by Platon of world leaders, with commentary by the photographer.

Platon is a photographer who has taken portraits of many presidents and well known world figures. His site, http://www.platonphoto.com/index.html , has some samples of his work along with several interviews where he discusses his work.

Portraits of Power – “This past September, when nearly all the world’s leaders were in New York for a meeting of the United Nations, Platon, a staff photographer for this magazine (The New Yorker), set up a tiny studio off the floor of the General Assembly, and tried to hustle as many of them in front of his lens as possible. … the project was a five-day-long improvisation, with Platon doing his best to lure the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chávez, and Muammar Qaddafi to his camera.”

At first I clicked on the people I knew like Obama and Brown. Then I went on to leaders like  Chavez and Qaddafi. As I listened to Platon’s brief commentary about each photograph I wanted to know more about leaders and countries I had never heard of and ended up looking at every portrait. Platon is not political. He is looking at each world leader as a human being. His observations are fascinating.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/multimedia/2009/12/07/091207_audioslideshow_platon