37 / 50 by Pierre Gonnord, 2004

The face of others is a mystery, an enigma of a story hidden in each of us that Pierre Gonnord questions daily beneath its surface.

Antonio came into Pierre’s life in 2004 –an encounter that would have a special significance in the photographer’s path. At that time, the big, bearded man lived in the same neighborhood and used to call out to passersby to talk and sometimes beg.

The two began to share numerous coffees and chats and Pierre heard many of his stories: traveling, boxing, defiance and a strength that was trapped in his eyes, in his hands. During one of his visits, Antonio made a suggestion to Pierre: “And why don’t you make a portrait photo of me? That way, I will be remembered when I am dead.” The artist was moved and agreed, because they both knew that photography sometimes plays God.

With his medium-format camera, Pierre exhausted his film while Antonio looked straight at him. And then, it happened: Antonio turned his face towards the street, his gaze lost in a horizon only he could see. Pierre took the shot, thus ensuring that Antonio’s face and the story he tells us will live forever in our memory.