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Hero image for How to Look at a Painting (...of a Face)

How to Look at a Painting (...of a Face)

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2011

Curator Justin Paton investigates the allure of portraits in this episode of a series inspired by his award-winning book How to Look at a Painting. Hundreds of years ago the wealthy and well-connected commissioned portraits of themselves for posterity. But in our modern, digital world, portraits (and selfies) are everywhere. Paton visits galleries, museums and painters' studios, and talks to prolific Kiwi portrait painters including Jeffrey Harris and Peter Stichbury — while unpicking why we are still fascinated by portraits and self portraiture.

Painted portraits take us back to a basic, human fact. Faces are fascinating for good reason, everybody's got one and we can't stop staring at them.
– Presenter and art curator Justin Paton talks about the appeal of portraits

Key Cast & Crew

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Lindsay Gossling

Field Director, Series Director

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Simon Coldrick


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Paul Swadel

Field Director

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Yves Simard


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Justin Paton

Original Author, Presenter

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Steven O'Meagher

Producer, Field Director

See all 31 credits

Produced by

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Desert Road Films