Group Show "Moda & Cinema" on view in Brescia gallery
"Moda & Cinema"
Brescia gallery: Via Trieste 48
Opening: Saturday October 28th, 2017 h. 6.30 pm
Until January 31st, 2018
Through a selection of famous visuals from the world of the fashion and movie, the show “Moda & Cinema” aims to suggest a journey in the changes of taste and habits whose main character were from one side everlasting icons, subject of the images, but from the other side also the same photographers, real masters in recognizing, and sometimes anticipating, these signals of transformation. Thinking to align all the works on view to a common line it’s impossible: each of them, however, because of its peculiarities, reveals us a polyhedric slice of ways to be, to dress, to strike a pose, to be icons of their time that changes together with the passing of years.
Starting point will obviously be the legendary images of two as legendary photographers such as Douglas Kirkland and Bert Stern, portraitists of the most famous Hollywood stars. With regard to Kirland’s production, his unforgettable shots of Marilyn Monroe are still today among the most beautiful memories of the actress. Extraordinary was his photo shoot produced in 1961 for “Look Magazine”: an only twenty-four-year-old Kirkland immortalizes the divine Marilyn Monroe laying on bed and wrapped up only in white sheets, converting her in the sexiest icon ever. No less catchy are his portraits of Audrey Hepburn, icon of glamour and style whose untarnished beauty, characterized by a smile of adolescent memory, has been exalted also in some photographs of the mature age done by Gilles Bensimon. There will be a lot of other authors who will take a portrait of the beautiful British actress, each of them using their own charm and personality: Henry Wolf, André Sas, Daniel Cande, Terry O’Neill, Angus McBean. Bert Stern, on the contrary, has the honour of having portrayed the ultimate star Marilyn Monroe in August 1962, in the six weeks before her tragic death on the occasion of a photo shoot for Vogue, the photographs of which has been collected in the great portfolio “Marilyn Monroe: The complete Last Sitting”, published posthumous in 1982. In those shots the actress appears alluring even though fragile; she will die shortly after, gripped by the interior demons that made her despise his own figure and that had an impact on some of Bert Stern’s most famous photographs: she will mark some proofs with a coloured marker as if it were a self- punishment to inflict to herself.
Very famous are also some photographs of Italian authors such as Pierluigi Praturlon, Pietro Pascuttini and Tazio Secchiaroli, main characters of the Dolce Vita that animated the Tiber embankment in the ages of the economic boom and that contributed to consecrate the myth of some great personalities such as Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Anita Ekgberg, Elsa Martinelli, Brigitte Bardot...
The period that goes from the end of the Fifties to the beginning of the Sixties is represented by two deeply innovator artists like William Klein and Gordon Parks. He was able to transfer also in the world of fashion the same language experimentation that he had already applied in his reportages, which means concretely the use of some technical devices such as the wide-angle lens and blurred shots. Among his most famous photographs there are those conceived during his stay in the Italian capital on the occasion of a photo shoot for Vogue, with a Rome in the middle of the great cinema and the economic boom: models on crosswalk in Piazza di Spagna or decontextualized from the usual sets and surrounded by shred of the everyday life. Result: extremely graphic prints, focused on the contrasts not only from the black and white but also from the elegance of the cloths normally dressed in the city streets. Also Gordon Parks’ research could be read from a similar perspective: he preferred to portray his models in real settings, giving priority to unusual and appealing points of view – an open window or a keyhole, for example – imbuing the images with a sense of voyeurism.
The fascinating polaroid mosaic portraits created by Maurizio Galimberti, “Instant Polaroid artist”, able to seize the authenticity of the subjects, mostly famous celebrities, could be seen as a contemporary frontier of fashion and movie photography. The French artist Eric Rondepierre, who won an important exhibition at Moma in 1996, approaches the world of movie through the recovery of old films, often distorted by bad stocking conditions or the unavoidable signs of time, from which he chooses a frame that becomes the main subject of his works (like in his most famous work called “Champs-Élysées” connected to the film “Charade” with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn). Present and past live together thanks to a photography that becomes cinematic and researches his source of inspiration in the dynamism of relationship between these two disciplines. In a different way and referring to a more contemporary language, Nicola Civiero uses the photographic medium to think on the limits and mental constraints typical of he fashion industry and, more generally, of the star system.
In the end a special acknowledgment must be given to the contribution of two great masters active between 1930-1940 such as the Hungarian Martin Munkacsi and the American Frances McLaughlin-Gill, whose works were real milestones in the world of fashion photography, with deep influences on the authors of the next generations like Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Speaking of Munkacsi, he can be considered the pioneer of a photography made of catchy images, set in everyday-like environments and animated by a strong dynamism. He brought the same action and spontaneity that he captured in his sports photography to the pages of the fashion magazines that he signed. Distancing himself from a practice entirely conceived in studios were models posed like mannequins, Munkacsi stages active young women favouring scenes of daily life epitomizing a special gift for action and movement: in 1933 he took his most famous shot of the socialite model Lucile Brokaw running down the Piping Rock beach. Munkacsi’s lesson and the opening towards a “humble” imaginary, more common and ordinary, populated by models photographed outdoor in dynamic contexts, will be continued by Frances McLaughlin-Gill, often considered the ideal interpreter of junior fashions. Her ability to communicate the appearance and the sensibility of a passing moment or a glimpsed smile in her pictures will make her, among others, one of the main representative of realistic fashion photography.