The Fahey/Klein Gallery will be presenting a selection of images from Diego Uchitel’s first monograph, “Polaroids”. This exhibition represents a curated collection of Polaroid images that capture Uchitel’s signature ethereal and painterly style and span over 30 years of the photographer’s work.
In pre-digital shoots, photographers depended on Polaroids to test a shot before committing the image to film. Described by photographers as the initial moment of the creative process, a Polaroid photograph became the first exploration of the photographer’s composition. Like many artists, Uchitel had a very visceral attraction to the medium of Polaroid photography.
In his first New York Studio, Uchitel began to casually pin Polaroids to his studio walls as a way to review the layout of a shoot. Instead of replacing the images after each shoot, he added to them, and over the years the wall of Polaroids grew. The mosaic became a centerpiece of his studio, a physical timeline and a placeholder for memories and various moments of Uchitel’s career. Visiting photographers and models would scour along the mosaic of people, faces, and moments to spot friends and colleagues. Before moving to a new Studio, the wall was carefully catalogued, archived, and preserved under glass, to be reinstalled in a new Studio location.
The exhibition consists of Uchitel’s Polaroids reproduced in large scale producing a trompe- l’oeil effect when these photographs are viewed. The oversized Polaroid appears to float weightless in the frame. The tape marks, pin holes, tears and worn edges of Uchitel’s Polaroid photographs become emphasized, reiterating the physicality of the medium and reinforcing the strange beauty in imperfection. The Polaroids elegantly display their age, existing as they are, as relics from another time. They are both fleeting and immediate, ephemeral and permanent, science and magic. Spontaneous in nature, Polaroids possess the unique quality of capturing a brief moment while physically existing in the same moment—translating an instant in time to a physical object.
Diego Uchitel grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he assisted his physician father by taking countless documentary photographs of the hospitalized patients under his father’s care. Diego moved to Los Angeles and attended film school at UCLA, but soon realized that photography was his true passion. Diego’s work has been featured in Elle Magazine, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, German and Spanish Vogue, Vogue Hommes, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine among others. Diego Uchitel’s monograph “Polaroids” (Damiani, 2012) chronicles more than 25 years of his work with Polaroids, a medium that has both defined his universe and developed his own style. Diego Uchitel lives and works in New York City.
This show runs May 1, 2014 through June 7, 2014
Reception for the Artist: Thursday, May 1, 7 – 9 p.m.
By Jim McKinniss