We have been waiting for a long time: the famous New York couple Formento & Formento is exhibiting for the first time in France a selection of signed and numbered works. And it’s the very trendy Galerie Goutal in Aix-en-Provence, specialized in staged photography, that they chose for this event.
French collectors will finally have access to limited editions (10) that until then were only visible in the United States or the United Kingdom.
This first monographic exhibition entitled “Divines Icônes” gives pride of place to femininity with several portraits of women from four series: Circumstance Women, Japan Diaries, She is Cuba and Hysteria.
Known for their glamorous photographs, BJ and Richeille Formento have been working since 2006 around the figure of women whose beauty they capture traveling the world. At the border with fashion photography from which they come from, they are distinguished by the extreme precision of their images, the perfect mastery of lighting and staging, revealing a universe rich in pictorial and cinematographic references.
The women of Formento & Formento, sublimated by the light, seem frozen in eternal beauty.
But beyond the perfect plastic of these faces, the lascivious poses, we perceive a gravity. Made up, if not fetishized, the muses of Formento & Formento are subtly taken as allegories. The sets, the choice of costumes involve the models in the history of their country.
The famous series Circumstance Women evokes the American subprime crisis of 2009. In these real and desolated decors, the models are strippers, starlets, models met thru the classifieds ads, who despite unemployment, kept the hope of accessing the “American Dream”.
In Japan Diaries, the duo represents the all-Asian complexity of the Japanese women, torn between traditions, submission and dreams of emancipation. Like this singular portrait of a young woman in the Hitchcockian style crunching the tentacles of an octopus with beautiful teeth. Real or dreamed, these “Divine Icon” are not without evoking the Greek statuary for their implacable beauty.
But there is that touch of fantasy, of provocation – so characteristic of Formento & Formento, which suddenly breaks the limits of the “all control” and which reveals, in filigree, the humanity and the sensitivity of these women.
Formento & Formento – Divine Icons
Exhibition from October 6 to December 16, 2018
Opening on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 5:30 pm
3 ter rue Fernand Dol