Sante D’Orazio: LEGENDS (POLAROIDS)
March 03, 2015 - April 18, 2015
Yoshii Gallery is delighted to announce the first exhibition of Polaroids by Sante D’Orazio, spanning thirty years of fashion photography and portraiture, featuring an extraordinary range of celebrated subjects. Sante D’Orazio is a photographer and artist whose diverse career has embraced fashion, portraiture, erotica, photography-based fine art and painting. Trained as a painter, he picked up a camera as a young man in the 1980s and quickly became known for his distinctive work in fashion, producing editorial work for elite magazines such as Vogue, Esquire and Vanity Fair, while creating campaigns for some of the most important fashion and beauty brands including Versace, Valentino, Revlon and L’Oreal, as well as innovating the visual identity of Victoria’s Secret. D’Orazio soon found himself surrounded by the first generation known as “supermodels,” and his pictures, marked by their uniquely intimate rapport with his subjects, were instrumental in establishing the legendary status of such women as Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Linda Evangelista, Georgina Grenville, Eva Herzigova, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, James King and Kate Moss. What was his secret? In addition to possessing a classicist’s eye, he seemed uniquely unafraid of the most attractive women in the world. D’Orazio’s gift for maximizing the beauty of even the most beautiful people led to a portraiture practice that continues today. His subjects include Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Kiedis, Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keith Richards, Roman Polanski, John Travolta, Susan Sarandon, and such artists as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Francesco Clemente, Phillip Taaffe, Matthew Barney, Alex Katz, Julian Schnabel, Ed Ruscha, Nobuyoshi Araki, George Condo and Maurizio Cattelan. In shooting during the pre-digital age, D’Orazio, like most of his peers, took Polaroids to test exposure and composition. Often these Polaroids have a special quality of light and tone that makes them extraordinary works in their own right. Perhaps there’s something about the casual, throwaway spirit of the shot itself that imparts a particularly poignant and unique spirit—as if the shot itself knew that it was one-of-a-kind, a true original. How did the Bible put it? “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Not that any of these extraordinary test shots were rejected, but they are remarkable, unique byproducts of evanescent moods, captured moments of magic that often outshines the intended work.
-Glenn O’Brien (February 2015)