Venomous Creatures Become Majestic Beasts in the Photographs of Guido Mocafico
Property Subject to the Artist's Resale Right (see Conditions of Sale for further information)
Collection of Georges Bermann
Each image/sheet: 70.4 x 53 cm (27 3/4 x 20 7/8 in.)
Each frame: 71 x 53.7 cm (27 7/8 x 21 1/8 in.)
From the Catalogue:
‘The beauty of the objects is so immediate that I thought, “I have to photograph them.” When I put them under my light, they just open up and reveal to you an unbelievable universe.’
Working in the mid-1800s, German glassmakers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka made models of marine invertebrates and plants for institutional commissions, never intending them to be presented to the public or considered works of art. Guido Mocafico discovered these fascinating objects – delicate handmade masterpieces made of clear, coloured and painted glass – while visiting the Natural History Museum in Geneva with his son. Since then Mocafico’s own obsession with photographing these glass objects has mimicked the Blaschkas’ dedication to their work over a century ago. Blurring the line between reality and illusion, Mocafico shrouds his Blaschka series in layers of mystery, from the subject to the method.
Titles from left to right: Comatula Mediterranea; Pelagia Noctiluca; Raphidiophrys Elegans; Terebella Emmalina; Turris Digitale; Beccaria Tricolor; Glaucus Longicirrus; Ophiocoma Picta; Ophiothrix Serrata; Spongosphaera Streptacantha; Enoploteuthis Veranii; Calliactis Decorata
—Courtesy of Phillips
Signature: Each signed, titled, dated, numbered 1/8 in ink and printed copyright credit on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount.
Hamiltons Gallery, London
A specialist in still life and nature photography, Guido Mocafico explores subjects such as tarantulas, snakes, jellyfish, and skulls, as well as subjects taken from Flemish still-life painters of the 17th century. Mocafico has shot photographs for international magazines, including Men’s Vogue and Wallpaper, and has undertaken major advertising campaigns for clients such as Gucci, Chanel, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent. The subjects of other series have included guns, roses, architecture, and the mechanisms of fine watches. Whether shooting creepy-crawlies or objects, Mocafico works in studio conditions, predominantly setting his subjects against dark backdrops and illuminating them with artificial lighting to emphasize colors and textures.
Swiss, b. 1962, based in Paris, France