Go See – New York: Philip-Lorca diCorcia “Eleven” at David Zwirner through March 5th, 2011

February 22nd, 2011

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, W, September 1997, #2 (1997). Via David Zwirner

Currently on view through March 5th at David Zwirner is a résumé of the eleven editorial photo shoots that Philip-Lorca diCorcia produced over the course of his eleven years at W Magazine. The exhibition—appropriately titled “Eleven”—illuminates Mr. diCorcia’s unique combination of his technical and narrative expertise applied to the genre of fashion photography.  The exhibit was opened to appropriately coincide with New York Fashion Week.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia. W, March 2000, #10 (2000). Via David Zwirner

More text and images after the jump…

Philip-Lorca diCorcia. W, November 2003, #12 (2003). Via David Zwirner

Each series unfolds a narrative which, in addition to selling a product—designer fashion—also represents a social dialogue in which “cultural or gender-based stereotypes, alienation, and social inequalities” are faced with the lifestyle of the fashion world. Unlike his contemporaries, diCorcia withheld the glorifying gaze of the model often used in fashion photography, a move which subverted the portrayal of cultural norms.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia. W, September 2000, #2 (2000). Via David Zwirner

diCorcia’s use of reflective surfaces emphasizes the multidimensionality of seemingly simple images which translates to the variabilities and complexities intrinsic to life that are often masked by an apparent effort of perfectibility. This, in conjunction with diCorcia’s meticulous technique of sewing together carefully staged static shots with others of spontaneity, epitomizes his paradoxically hyper-realistic style. In an interview with Cathy Horyn, of the New York Times, diCorcia said: “I think hyper-realism can only exist in contrast to a kind of realism that is fairly flawed. When everything is hyper there is no hyper. To me that’s not interesting at all.”

Philip-Lorca diCorcia. W, May 2008, #3 (2008). Via David Zwirner

At the show’s opening reception on February 10th, in describing his active participation with lighting, diCorcia said: “If you’re standing next to me, what your looking at doesn’t look anything like the photograph. The relationship between my lights to natural light and the color of light as it is translated in film, is all transformed and because of the fact that I use flashes, which go off really quickly, you really don’t get a sense of what is happening. It’s part of the reason why I used Polaroids because I really couldn’t tell exactly what was happening.” The transience of light captured in diCorcia’s photographs resonate with the emblematic use of light by artistic geniuses such as Vermeer, Georges de La Tour, Francisco Goya, and Caravaggio. DiCorcia elaborated further, saying: “you can see that in all of those paintings light has a symbolic meaning and I don’t want to create the idea that I am intentionally trying to be symbolic, but how can it not have some symbolic significance?”

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, W, September 1997, #19 (1997). Via David Zwirner


Related Links:

Exhibition Page [David Zwirner]
Q & A: Philip-Lorca diCorcia [The New York Times]
Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Debuts ‘Eleven’ for NYFW [Blackbook]