Alessandro Raho “Jessica”

Taro Nasu

poster for Alessandro Raho “Jessica”
[Image: Jessica (C) Alessandro Raho, Courtesy of TARO NASU]

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In his pursuit of the possibility of portraiture today, Alessandro Raho adopts an approach whereby he takes a photograph of his “sitters” initially, using this as the reference for what he then paints on the canvas. In his works, the person is usually posed in the center of a white background. The people appear to be dressed in everyday clothes, but actually the artist selects their outfits carefully beforehand, having them wear garments like black tights, high fashion brand dresses, and T-shirts featuring characters. Raho evidently refers to the style of fashion photography, making visual references to it in his work.
It can be said that fashion photographs have a strange relationship with the tradition of portraiture. Traditionally portraits were taken to clarify the status of a sitter, incorporating various elements that identified the individual, such as luxurious backgrounds and clothes. Meanwhile, fashion photography is carefully directed in accordance with social symbols in order to express the value of clothing and the person wearing it, as with a model wearing a T-shirt printed with a high brand logo.
The subjects in Raho’s works are close acquaintances and family members. In contrast with the fashion model who smiles towards the camera naturally, they stiffen and show a somewhat awkward expression. We can see Jessica’s appearance in the paintings as a symbolic portrait of ourselves - surrounded by various contemporary symbols and ideologies.

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Schedule

from October 13, 2017 to November 04, 2017

Artist(s)

Alessandro Raho

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