British photographer Mary McCartney’s work concentrates on the world of portrait and candid reportage photography and is suffused with the special chemistry between photographer and subject. She focuses intently on her subjects, from her intimate study of professional ballerinas at the Royal Ballet to candid moments behind the scenes of fashion shows, and strangers on city streets.
Her latest exhibition at Izzy Gallery in Toronto features unguarded, spontaneous moments that deliver voyeuristic and sensual images devoid of a rigid structure. Undone is the idea of instinctively throwing away the formality of pose, pre-conceived composition and space. The resulting work goes beyond simple reportage and reflects a complete understanding of what the photographer is searching for. It is a sophistication that reflects the McCartney’s ease with the camera and intimate knowledge of what it can do, in an instant.
McCartney’s mostly female subjects in Undone range from Fan, an intimate portrait of Kate Moss in a disheveled dressing room, to the seemingly random but precisely composed Shiny Shoes. Three photographs – Slip, Split and Grip capture the dynamism of West End dancers in A Chorus Line. Lacing, the graceful portrait of a woman delicately lacing up her shoes, saturated in orange reds, is in contrast to the mostly ethereal black and white photographs showcased in the series. McCartney thrives on backstage chaos and reveals, as seen in the video work Crazy Horse, which captures the motion and mood suggested in all the exhibition’s photos via the rhythmic movements of chorus line dancers.
Mary McCartney, Undone
November 9 to December 9, 2017
1255 Bay St
Toronto, ON M5R 2A9