Leica Gallery Paris
From November 9th, 2023 to January 27, 2024
Vernissage, on November 10, 2023 - 6.30 pm
Galerie Leica presents an exhibition of Paolo Roversi's photographs taken in India.
Paolo Roversi is a photographer best known for his fashion work in the studio, using large-format cameras and Polaroids, but he has rarely photographed outdoors. These previously unseen images therefore hold a special place in his work.
These are travel photos taken during stays between 1989 and 1991, landscapes, portraits, snapshots taken from a bus or while wandering the streets, camera slung around the neck.
Opposite are images taken for the 1989 summer collection by Italian couturier Romeo Gigli, with whom Paolo Roversi has collaborated since 1985. Model Kirsten Owen poses in delicately transparent outfits. Against dark, moonlit backgrounds, her luminous skin is revealed in fragile portraits.
Used to working in color since his early days, Paolo Roversi would never have imagined photographing India in black and white. He used Kodak Ektachrome 200 and 400 ISO film. His images convey intense, deep and subtle colors, evoking the flowers to be found on every street corner and in every temple, and weaving together melodies and smells with a gentleness and abandon that are typical of India.
This initiation trip had a profound effect on Paolo Roversi's practice, giving him a form of freedom in his work as a fashion photographer. He admits that India pushed him a little further towards slowness. In the 1990s, he welcomed and creatively experimented with long exposure times, the unexpected and accidents, the vibration of blur, the exploration of intense blacks or the milky softness of whites, the emergence of emotions, thus establishing the vocabulary that today defines his singular style.
These images of India convey Paolo Roversi's strange feeling of having traveled in a dream, between light and shadow, past and present, reality and illusion, life and death. In this uncertain space, where photography rightly belongs.
Paolo Roversi is reprensented by Pace Gallery (New York, London, Los Angeles...) and Camera Obscura in Paris