14th February until 1st June 2014 – The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield is currently exhibiting the works of one of America’s greatest contemporary photographers, Philip-Lorca diCorcia. The collection gathers works from four decades of diCorcia’s photography, including works from six major series.
Apart from in book form, this was the first time that I have seen any of diCorcia’s work in print form. Combined with the large format of the prints, the attention to detail he has given each photograph is staggering and awe-inspiring.
One of his most recognised series, Hustlers, is what the collection opens with. For this series, diCorcia paid his subjects to pose for him for a fee of their choice. The central figure of each photograph is a male prostitute adrift in a neon-lit Los Angeles, men bathed in sumptuous light in cinematic locations – which is not surprising since many were shot in and around Hollywood. The title of each photograph notifies us of the details of the subject and of the transaction undertook between photographer and subject, such as Roy, “in his twenties”, Los Angeles, California, $30. (above)
Also on display were photographs from another favourite series of mine by diCorcia, Heads. These gigantic prints adorned a partitioned area of a room all by themselves. The effect of seeing candid photographs executed in this way and in this scale is mesmerising. DiCorcia captured people in New York’s Times Square using powerful strobes rigged to scaffold, resulting in stark and expressive portraits in a void of blackness.
This is the first survey of Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s work in the UK, on display at a fascinating venue. Go and see it while you can.
All images © Philip-Lorca diCorcia / courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield
‘If you have never seen these images in person, I urge you to make the journey to Wakefield.’ – The Guardian