Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philip Lorca de Corcia

I'm not usually impressed with most modern photography. I find most photographers focus on dragging unimaginative, uncompelling compositions through a fancy filter and then expect everyone to care. This is especially moot considering the ease of deriving these effects with digital technology that even a I-phone camera can accomplish. That is why I love the work of this next artist, Philip Lorca de Corcia. He's been working in photography since the 1970's, mostly in the North east. His work focuses on people taking part in rather mundane activities: going to the bar, tripping over the sidewalk, going to the store, etc. I know, this has all been done before.  However, de Corcia's work lends such gravity and drama to each of these activities that each moment captured is heart-wrenching, isolating, and moving. While some of his pieces are assembled tableaus, a lot of his photos were taken of regular people on the street (some of which were not very happy about it: see below). I was especially impressed with a series of photos de Corcia took of pole dancers in baroque-esque lighting. I've included one below, but you should check out the others, since they are awesome.

 When de Corcia took this photo of an Orthodox Jew on the street of New York, he was sued by the man, who claimed the piece went against his religion, and shouldn't be used to make money. de Corcia won the suit based on the 1st Amendment protection of artistic freedom, even if the art is sold.

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