The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present a selection of images from the husband and wife team BJ Formento and Richeille Formento’s newly released body of work, Japan Diaries. Under the name Formento & Formento, Richeille Formento styles and art directs the images, while BJ Formento lights and photographs. Together the duo has an innate ability to absorb the spirit of a time and place, creating a vision that references the past but remains truly their own.
Formento & Formento entered the Fine Art scene in 2009 with their first series, Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees. Embarking on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, the Formentos travelled through twenty-five states, photographing the women they found along the way, often recruited the same day as the shoot. Referencing classic American paintings and cinema, Circumstance embodies the combined American visions of both BJ and Richeille. Capturing a country during uncertain times, their dramatically lit subjects are transformed into heroines and femme fatales caught in intense moments of emotion and reflection.
In the fall of 2013, Formento & Formento embarked on a journey through Japan to create their newest ongoing series, Japan Diaries. The highly staged and melodramatic images are inspired by theater, 1950’s Japanese cinema, the photographs of Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama, Edo woodblock prints, and the erotic imagery of Ero Guro paintings. As outside observers, the Formentos’ stylized images explore the dichotomies that embody modern Japan— blurring the aesthetics between tradition and the ultra modern, fantasy and reality. The captivating tableaus exude a sense of tension, melancholy, and a quiet unease. Each image from Japan Diaries exists as if it were a still taken from a noir Japanese film, each solitary figure yearning for something unknown.
“It’s fascinating to immerse oneself in this ancient culture that has only been open to the rest of the world since the 1850’s. The many underlying tones, subcultures and characteristics are unique to Japan and its people. We find ourselves in a floating world of emotional, psychological and physical potential, eager to express our interpretation as foreigners in a very foreign land.” —BJ Formento
BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines. After receiving his BFA in Photography from the Academy of Arts University of California, BJ Formento moved to New York training his eye by working with esteemed photographers such as Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz. London born Richeille Formento attended Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer. In 2005, BJ and Richeille met while working together on a job in South Beach, Miami. They admit to love at first sight, and were married in New York City three months later. They were nominated top finalist to Vogues’s New Exposure Competition 2012, working with Bottega Venetta and Red Digital Camera. Vogue Italia featured their work with PhotoVogue at 10 Corso Como Gallery, Milan in both 2012 and 2013. They have been published in Hunger Magazine, Aesthetica, Eyemazing, Wolf, Normal Magazine, Ammo Magazine and more. BJ and Richeille live and work in New York City.
Press Images Available By Request