The Polish photographer, known for her sensual portraits of men, women and the LGBT community, is among 17 established and emerging artists who have captured model Natalie White over the years
Originally discovered and first photographed by the legendary Peter Beard at the age of 17, Natalie White has gone on to serve as a model and muse to Beard and other renowned artists, celebrities and aspiring photographers. As exhibition curator Gregory de la Haba explains of White's allure: "More Siren than Muse, more Muse than model, her look, her odd beauty, her song, are all irresistibly sweet, an appeal hard to resist".
The exhibition entitled Who Shot Natalie White? features Polish photographer Anna Bloda, who is based in New York, among its contributors. Bloda presents her portrait of White alongside those of Beard, Anthony Haden Guest, Sean Lennon, Michael Dweck, Natalie White herself, and a dozen more. Most of the images in the show are nudes, which has drawn criticism from locals in the gallery's Lower East Side neighbourhood, and a few police sirens. Nonetheless, the show was not deemed "pornography" and will remain up until the official closing date. Bloda's photograph of Natalie White was the first work in the show to be sold.
Anna Bloda, born outside of Kraków in 1975, is a graduate of the College of Arts in Nowy Wisnicz and of the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź. She began taking photos at the age of 16. The main topics of her work touch all aspects of human existence. She manages to create a bond between herself and the model, which creates an exceptionally intimate ambiance for her projects. As she has said, "For me the brain becomes an organ that pins all information together in the form of pictures that transform into photos". She has taken photos for premium Polish magazines including Exklusiv and Wysokie Obcasy, featuring both artists, celebrities and everyday people she meets on the streets of Warsaw, Berlin and New York City. She is currently based in New York City, building upon her portfolio as an artistic photographer.
Anna Bloda's recent portrait of Richard Kern and his wife Martynka Wawrzyniak has been included in the recently-published Shot by Kern album of photographs by the controversial photographer, known for his raunchy frames of young, innocent-looking girls. Bloda's work has been likened to that of Kern, characterised by its own individual contemporary take on eroticism. She counts Kern among her inspirations, along with Terry Richardson, Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin and Helmut Newton. For Bloda, photography is a way to see forms through the "psyche and soma" and in such a way break into someone else's mind. She explains,
As I take pictures - I extract, I open and I mix up whatever I find. This is why mankind, and most of all, the feminine element in all of us, is for me a principal inspiration and the greatest challenge. The pursuit of a subject and the astonishment of discovering that subject's originality are what stoke this fire. [...] I am building a portrait of a generation, a visual record of the very times that I am living in, while also asking certain questions - what is gender? What is sexuality? [...] Through the use of symbols, colors and style - I strive to portray their essence.
Who Shot Natalie White? is on at the ROX gallery (86 Delancey Street, New York City) between the 16th of April - 12th of May 2013. For more information, see: www.roxnyc.com
The ROX gallery was founded by Emerald Fitzgerald and the City Firm with the goal of defying the traditional gallery model through a multi-platform exhibition program. ROX features emerging artists exhibited alongside established ones, with a strong secondary market business that helps support new talent. Its programming is genre-bending across the creative industries of art, fashion, music and design, rooted in a desire to bridge the Chelsea and Lower East Side communities.
Author: Agnieszka Le Nart
Source: Curator's statement, New York Post, own sources