The first European retrospective of the oeuvre of the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia (born 1951, Hartford, Connecticut) features 6 series comprising a total of 124 works, beginning with the most recent photographs from the ongoing series East of Eden to diCorcia’s earliest works from 1975.
One of the primary issues that diCorcia addresses is the question of whether it is possible to depict reality, and this is what links his photographs, most of which he creates as series. For Hustlers (1990–1992), for example, he took pictures of male prostitutes in meticulously staged settings, while in what is probably most famous series, Heads (2000–2001), he captured an instant in the everyday life of unsuspecting passers-by. Alongside the series Streetwork (1993–1999), Lucky 13 (2004) and A Storybook Life (1975–1999).
Philip-Lorca Dicorcia, Ike Cole, 38 years old, Los Angeles, California, , 1990-1992,
(c) Courtesy the artist und David Zwirner, New York und Sprüth Magers London Berlin
As Philip-Lorca diCorcia has said:
"Psychology is a reality for many people. I try to show this. It may not, in fact, be the actual psychology of the subject that I portray, but it is played out in the image and the projection of that psychology into the surrounding space… Their image is the outward facing front belied by the inwardly gazing eyes."
In his street photography, diCorcia often combined a documentary tradition with the worlds of cinema and advertising to create powerful links between reality, fantasy and desire.
He employed stark lighting in Streetworks and Heads, using flash and trip lights to give documentary photographs the feeling of an opera set. In these new works, like with his previous series of Hollywood Hustlers, he concentrates on subjects whose personas are already theatrically enlarged by their lives. In all cases diCorcia manipulates his subjects to his own ends.
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt