I was recently invited to a photography galley for Brian Bowen Smith‘s first-ever solo exhibition at De Re Gallery on Melrose where he debuted his WILDLIFE Series. A-List celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Tyra Banks and Kourtney Kardashian attended the premiere, which featured Glee cast member Naya Rivera as well as Demi Moore’s daughter, Rumor Willis. For me the icing on the cake was a special live performance by Incubus!
“With this exhibition WILDLIFE, Brian Bowen Smith strips naked our modern society, dissolving the stigmas of today’s world and instead strives to explore its artistic possibilities and primitive wildness. By covering the faces of his models with animalistic masks, Brian wanted them to explore their inner self and their raw emotions, without fear of being judged. These masks allow his models to become the people they wish to be, or that they are, without any consequences. In freeing them from these constraints of timidity or embarrassment, the bodies become beautifully playful and expressive. The poses are strikingly more adventurous; in some of these photographs the bodies even seem to be the essence of joyfulness. The results are confident photographs, beautiful women and most authentic personalities – all captured in the stark contrasting settings of California living. Shot in black and white, this quality provides them with a sense of drama and timeless aesthetics. Brian Bowen Smith’s WILDLIFE creates artwork of sexy, confident and wild nudes, with inspiration from the works of his mentor Herb Ritts, along with influences of Helmut Newton, Peter Beard, Peter Lindbergh and Richard Avedon.” – De Re Gallery
WILDLIFE will be open to the public from Oct. 24 to Dec 17, 2014.