When I came upon the wall of these large blown-up images at the Armory Show here in NYC a couple of months back, it filled me with a silly happiness. Who hasn’t, as a child, wearing shorts in the summer, been fascinated by the different bumps or ridges left on their thighs after getting up from an extended sitting? I certainly was. So, a sort of nostalgia and instant smile overcame me when I observed these photos by Gabriele Basílico, an Italian photographer who according to his gallery’s web site, first shot these photos in 1979. He had been asked to participate in an exhibit entitled “Freedom limits/the object: faced interpretations” and thought to take an ironic approach that invited free interpretation. From the artist:
The opportunity to participate in such cultural and artistic event helped me to take aside the beauty and formality of the still life photographies and to conceived a project more symbolic, ironic and freedom to interpreted the matter.
Thinking through the images about the relationship between the object-chair and the human body it came to my mind the funny and grotesque image that the hard summer chairs left in the naked bodies of the swimmers. It is a real negative “by contact”. A provisional relief tattoo which is printed on the body aesthetically developing the original surface of the contact.
I had neglected to take down Basílico’s name when I saw this at the Armory and had since been looking for it online, so I was especially happy the other day when I happened upon it via La Lettre de la photographie.