red gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new photographic works by Melbourne-based collaborators Gerard O’Connor and Marc Wasiak. Informed by the artists’ shared background in design, fashion and advertising, the exhibition combines the grandeur of history painting with the glamour of contemporary staged or constructed photography.
The majority of these large-scale colour images are captured as intricately choreographed scenes on location and in the studio, with some shoots involving up to thirty different characters. An intense amount of pre-production work is required. The images are retouched by Harry Rekas to create a series of tableaux vivants – some based on drawings by Robert Crumb; others inspired by Hogarth’s paintings of everyday, lower-class people in social situations.
In the gallery, a decadent bordello interior is presented alongside a scene of piratical tyranny. Nearby, the character of ‘Rocket Girl’ is pictured standing naked in a field, a projectile missile strapped firmly to her back. Notions of theatricality and the cinematic provide critical entry points into the exhibition as a whole.
Gerard and Marc have been working in collaboration with retoucher Harry Rekas for nearly ten years, predominantly in the fashion industry, while also collaborating on their independent photographic art projects. Drawing upon Marc’s expertise as a stylist and Gerard’s photographic experience, their working methods involve all aspects of image design, including casting, costume, set-design, direction and lighting. Harry’s association with the acclaimed Large Magazine adds the third dimension to these works. This is the first gallery-based exhibition of their extraordinary collaborative works.
Gerard O’Connor and Marc Wasiak, Bordello, C-type photograph on aluminium composite board, 1260 x 2000mm, 2009.
All works are available in a limited edition of ten.