Mario Sorrenti and John Baldessari Are Opening a New Exhibit

Mario Sorrenti and John Baldessari Are Opening a New Exhibit

The new installation entitled “Noses, Elbows, and Knees” brings both iconic artists together to reimagine the desconstructed human form.

The new installation entitled “Noses, Elbows, and Knees” brings both iconic artists together to reimagine the desconstructed human form.

Text: Cassidy Morrison

At first glance at the works of both photographer Mario Sorrenti and artist John Baldessari, one wouldn’t think they share much in common. But their new installation at the Half Gallery, launching tonight, proves that their works can be married seamlessly.

Baldessari, famed Californian conceptual artist, began his career in painting. He moved to textual works, often employing riddles and removing his own handwriting altogether. He is often thought of as a surrealist, combining text, color, humor and collage. In 1970, he cremated his works predating 1967, proclaiming that he would no longer make “boring art”. The ashes of his burnt pieces remained in an urn, creating a juxtaposition between the life of art and the human lifecycle.

“I go back and forth between wanting to be abundantly simple and maddeningly complex,” he told David Salle in Interview Magazine in 2013. “I always compare what I do to the work of a mystery writer—like, you don’t want to know the end of the book right away.”

Mario Sorrenti, on the other hand, burst onto the fashion scene in the 1990s with his iconic campaign featuring Kate Moss for Calvin Klein Obsession. Known primarily for his sexually charged work, his inventive photography has been published in Vogue (US, Italy, Japan), Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair, not to mention quite a few V stories.

He talked openly to Interview about his own views on sexuality and the human form: “I'm pretty open. I'm not afraid of men. I'm not afraid of women. I'm not afraid of sex and sexuality. 
It's part of me, and it comes out in the photograph. It's as if at that moment when I'm taking pictures, I'm not a man and I'm not a woman. If I see a moment that seems true to me, that seems honest, whether it's female or male, it's part of me as well.”

Both artists share more than the idea of an impure form of beauty. Both have envisioned various versions of the human form, which can be at once vulnerable and perfect. Under the guise of W’s art issue, the works of both artists came together and will now be on view at Half Gallery in an installation curated by Neville Wakefield. The exhibition starts tonight and runs through January 20. Get a peek at their work below.

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