Charmed Heads & Urban Cupids
1978 - 1979
This body of works investigates the supplanting of the painted portrait by advertising and photography as a record of status and its powerful impact in the creation of desire and yearning to attract the ideal. Fashion shoots with stylists, makeup artists, and selections from New York Designers’ current collections combined advertising and fashion photography with classical painting and photography in art history: Cranach, Whistler, Picasso, Goya, Van Dyke, Moreau, Fereol de Bonnemaison, Zurbaran meets Muybridge, Arthur Elgort, Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton. As in magazine fashion pages, participant credits are integral to photographic works.
The first two images below, "Young Woman Overtaken by a Storm" represents a woman's eternal struggle against obstacles to achieve her desires. It continues to be shown, including at Robert Stefanotti Gallery (NYC) 1979, Cirrus (Los Angeles) 1980, Hallwalls (Buffalo) in 1983 and most recently at the Barbican Gallery, London 2002. This work was inspired by a painting I came across in the Brooklyn Museum by Fereol de Bonnemaison with the same title and styled after the photography of Avedon and Irving Penn. It was taken on location on the Riverside Drive under the glare of headlights where the Police arrived responding to reports of a woman possibly being man-handled (they were my make-up artists & stylists!) — the policeman stayed until we were finished shooting to prevent any more calls! (The dress is by Mary McFadden.)