Straight Spectacle: The Staged Photography of Philip-Lorca diCorcia
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Drawing on Hollywood’s aesthetic of artificiality and the power of a scrupulously directed film scene, American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia is a pioneer in staged photography, crafting narratives of everyday life. “I thought of the people as puppets who were unstrung, mercilessly disempowered—not preyed upon, but living on the edge and not by choice,” he says of his earliest L.A. subjects. “So it was interesting to set up scenarios that often didn’t portray the real circumstances.” Using photographic media from digital to Polaroid, diCorcia’s collections range from the meticulous staging and disconcerting affectlessness of high-end fashion photography to the impromptu intimacy of street portraits, frequently capturing garishness and frailty in a single shot. DiCorcia achieved his major breakthrough with the series "Hustlers" (1990-92), for which he staged portraits of male prostitutes on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood.
American, b. 1951, Hartford, Connecticut, based in New York, New York