Above Image: Slim Aarons - Sea Drive, 1967, Courtesy of Staley-Wise Gallery
What could be better than a sun-soaked summer filled with hot rods and hot babes in addition to the traditional hot dogs? Unfortunately for us, our summers are usually limited to a trip to the beach and the resulting sunburn. Les Vacances, an exhibition of photographers represented by Staley-Wise Gallery presented at Hotel Particulier and curated by Béatrice Dupire, lies outside of our own mundane reality. It is a celebration of the purest form of fantasy. The photographs of naked women carrying a surfboard down a sandy beach, and of glamorous people looking way too cool in the summer heat are what we daydream about with the understanding that they exist in a realm that we can aspire to but will never actually reach.
Michael Dweck, Surf’s Up, Montauk, New York, 2006, Courtesy of Staley-Wise Gallery
We are attracted to ridiculous, over-the-top images. So, we may never get the invitation to that celebrity pool party; but photographers Slim Aarons, David LaChapelle, Patrick Demarchelier, Harry Benson, George Holtz, Priscilla Rattazzi, and the other photographers featured in this salon-style group show bring us into a posh world where this scenario is more than just plausible, but likely. They draw us in to precisely what we cannot have, all the while maintaining a parallel universe of the rich and famous.
Yet for as long as it takes to walk around the gallery, we are allowed entrance into this other world where reality stops and fantasy sets in.
Les Vacances will be on view at Hotel Particulier through August 22nd.
Curator Béatrice Dupire, Taki Wise, Frederique Thiollet, Etheleen Staley at Hotel Particulier in New York
Event images by Miguel Dominguez from Hotel Particulier