“A good subject is one that stimulates and inspires the desire to dream, the desire to unveil a mystery, the thrill of suggesting another reality. Every day, when I step into my studio, I have a hope. For me, photography is not about copying reality, but revealing something else.”
And for many years, Paolo Roversi has kept this dream alive. Within the confines of his Paris studio, Roversi photographs using a 8 x10 Polaroid format, often allowing the images to fade before fixing them to their substrate. His long exposures at close range harness an aesthetic from the earliest days of studio photography, but with a renewed urgency that wavers somewhere between history and apparition. This leaves us with images more reminiscent of beautiful paintings, rather than high-flash fashion images we have become used to. More art than fashion, Roversi’s images appeal to a place deep within us all – a place that yearns for tenderness and raw emotion. In a now over-hyped, stylised world, Roversi’s consistently handcrafted images provide a refreshing point of difference.
Stripped of the usual accoutrements of studio portraiture, Roversi’s subjects push back with a vulnerable intensity that reveals as much of the photographer as of the model. And the images in the book below function not only as a series of individual portraits, but also as a collective self-portrait of the artist and the place that stands at the center of his work. First published in 2005 in a limited edition, this new edition of Paolo Roversi’s sumptuous and critically acclaimed book presents this distinctive body of work in an accessible trade edition.