«Ottocento» is a collection of generative portraits of fictional historical figures. The series starts by exploring the nuances of the male figure as represented in the 19th century («Ottocento» in Italian). Further chapters of the project, focusing on different identities, are planned. The illustrations, drawn by hand and then converted to digital, constitute an ironic portrayal of the society of that era. The portraits, all in the same three-quarter view, reference the typological projects of German photographer August Sander.
Individual features and expressions are combined through the controlled randomness that generative art affords, deliberately blurring clear visual distinctions between nationalities, roles, and social classes. The result is an «Esperanto» of human types with an uncanny familiarity. Is that a poet? A salesman? An aristocrat? A farmer? Unlike Sander’s project, «Ottocento» doesn’t force any labels on the characters, eventually leaving the interpretation open to the viewer.