A Portrait of the Artist, His Face Obscured by a Giant Leaf

By Stephanie Murg Comment

leaf me alone.jpgHaving told you about a highly entertaining book about books, we’re moving on to art about artists–specifically, an exhibition of Gianfranco Gorgoni‘s photographs of art world icons on view at Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York through December 12.

Gorgoni came to the United States 39 years ago with the intention of creating a photographic essay on New York artists and then returning home to Italy. He became so involved in the project that he ended up staying in New York, where a chance encounter with Robert Rauschenberg in 1969 led to an introduction to Leo Castelli and his stable of artists. Gorgoni went on to have four solo exhibitions at Castelli’s gallery between 1972 and 1996.

Among the large-scale color and black and white portraits on view in the current exhibition are candid and posed shots of James Rosenquist (captured mid-painting), Roy Lichtenstein (posing with one of his cartoony fruit bowl canvases), Richard Serra, and Jeff Koons. Our hands-down favorite? Gorgoni’s 1974 shot of Ellsworth Kelly hiding behind a leaf.