Born 1951, Hartford, Connecticut
Lives and works in New York, New York
Philip-Lorca diCorcia's evocative and enigmatic photographs employ a calculated
and often baroque theatricality. Using elaborate staging, he elevates everyday
occurrences beyond the realm of banality, heightening our awareness of the
psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations. His subjects include a
wide range of characters, from strangers to those in his inner circle of family and
associates. Some have personas already theatrically enlarged by their life choices,
such as the pole dancers in his latest series. These photographs were shot in
various locations and settings—empty theatres, rented rooms, and strip clubs. The
dancers were not performing for an audience but rather for the photographer's
camera, and this lends a non-specificity to most of the settings. Each image
captures a dancer in mid-pose, her concentration reinforcing a complete
unselfconsciousness. When suspended in the air, the bodies of these ravaged and
imperfect subjects take on the character of sculpture, as perfectly modeled as
monumental figures by Michelangelo. What might otherwise be considered lurid becomes
in these compositions iconic, timeless, transformed into something symbolic with a look of
architectural permanence. Far from titillating, diCorcia's powerful photographs engage
with a long history of artists contemplating the human form, physical perfection, and
DiCorcia, Philip-Lorca. A Storybook Life. Santa Fe, N.M.: Twin Palms Publishers, 2003.
Galassi, Peter. Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1995.
Grundberg, Andy. "Street Fare." Artforum 37, no. 6 (February 1999): 80–83.
Morgan, Stewart. "Deliberate Fictions." Frieze 31 (November–December 1996): 50–56.
A Storybook Life
The Village Voice