Philip-Lorca DiCorcia – Wellfleet [Emma and Naomi] (1992)

If any of you knew me AFK, you would quickly realize that I am always late to the party.

I stumbled onto my favorite band of all time just before they went on a more than decade long hiatus. It took me almost two years after all the initial hubbub and hype to stop and read Patti Smith’s Just Kids (which I’ll have you know accomplishes the rare feat of being unfathomably better than all the good stuff you’ve heard about it).

Same goes for DiCorcia. I had no idea who he was until the David Zwirner Gallery resurrected his exceptional Hustler series two years ago.

I didn’t make it to that show. (I mean to go to shows all the time. I’ve been meaning to make the Jeff Wall show on now at the Maria Goodman Gallery for more than a month but I never venture north of 32nd Street, so 57th might as well be on the other side of the country. I know that’s silly but that’s how my mental illness makes it feel.)

This image–although it is from a different series, namely A Storybook Life–  makes me realize missing the Hustlers show was a monumental mistake because it seems like he’s doing something fascinating with color.

I’m not sure I can do more to point to it but my instinct is refer to the above image as painterly. Intellectually, I know that’s something likely to get you cut by a fine art photographer. And I think what’s really going on is something very much anti- the-prevailing-conversation-about-the-place-of-color-in-fine-art-photography.

It feels like if the statement that B&W highlights the foreign in the familiar, then I think that DiCorcia is actually attempting to employ color in the same way that B&W is taken for granted. It’s an audacious conceit, actually.

Further–and I’ll own my bias from the outset by admitting my abject contempt for Jock Sturges–I feel like this is a kind of implicit critique of recurring Sturges motif of nudists showering, of which this is perhaps the most famous.

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