Philip-Lorca di Corcia (Hartford, USA, 1953) is an American photographer who in recent years has known how to extend linguistic and artistic photography. In all his work -consisting of three broad series, this exhibition is a selection of works from the last two- a new insight into the treatment of common but fundamental genres is discovered: portraits, everyday scenes and photojournalism. In all di Corcia’s pieces the heritage of classical pictorial representation is seen, as well as an acceptance of film aesthetics and culture. His photographs are defined by the obviousness of his themes, the simplicity of his compositions and the recurrence of compositional artifice, challenging the paradigm of the decisive moment.
For this exhibition pieces from his Hustler (1990-1992) series have been collected, about male prostitution in Hollywood, in addition to Streetwork, an incomplete project started in 1993, which interprets human behaviour in the streets of several cities of the world. In his later works - and even in earlier pieces - the artist already comes from the observation and subsequent recreation of an everyday or domestic scene, so that the subject becomes a stage actor who is, however, routine. In the method the characteristic features of his work are summarised: a direct and commitment vision and an absolute control of the process based on a studied and almost dramatic illumination and compositional balance.
Hustler recreates the activity of Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, where a large part of prostitution and drug trafficking takes place. The project portrays hustlers and reconstructs the daily reality of this shattered "American dream" as well as critiquing western sexual double standards in the case of American. The result is a fiction that places the spectator at the same distance from reality. On the other hand, in Streetwork di Corcia opts to hold the hidden camera in broad avenues steady, his job is to choose the time. It is a game which coincides with a reinterpretation of classic photography and which forms part of the theory of the decisive moment with a new approach to the subject par excellence of American photography: the street. Again reality is shown on a stage where Western culture and the prevailing system is played out, while the apparent emptiness that faces the spectator has its own daily steps and its own daily routine with its relationship to other anonymous passers-by.
Museo Reina Sofía Publications
1 December 2023 – 10 March 2024
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