Art Miami Presents Formento + Formento's 'Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees', Now thru 12/8
Vincent Vallarino Fine Art and TrafficNYC, two New York based galleries, have partnered to present the dynamic husband/wife team Formento + Formento at Art Miami from today, December 3rd- 8th. Formento + Formento's most noted photographic series, "Circumstance: American Beauty on Bruised Knees", will be displayed at Art Miami - Booth B19 (The Art Miami Pavilion Wynwood Arts District 3101 NE 1st Avenue, Miami, Fla.).
The series, which was created on their 2009 epic journey across America, captures a decaying American landscape with staged juxtapositions of iconic, awe-inspiring real American beauties. The characters, both vulnerable and powerful, represent the backbone of American culture that have been abandoned and left behind. The images exude an ethereal sensuality along with a cinematic narrative, creating ambiguous scenes reminiscent of David Lynch's films and Edward Hooper's powerful Ashcan themes of the solitary figure, the melancholy of dusk, and the lonely road.
In 2009 the United States was suffering from the subprime crisis. BJ and Richielle Formento packed their home and three Siamese cats into a 27-foot silver Airstream trailer and set out on a cross-country photographic odyssey. The trip led the couple through 25 states as they delved into the real life stories of women in the pits of despair. Operating on a shoestring budget, they found their subjects and models as they traveled, from local newspaper ads to local diners.
"So much of the 'producing' America is now defunct," says BJ Formento, "back roads lead us to ghost towns and forgotten strip malls, to abandoned churches and motels, to rotting steel mills and theaters, prisons, airports and train stations. Luckily we found women in these towns to play our heroines. It was an amazing journey."
These images attest to just how much the world around us can mirror the world inside. The Formentos' abandoned buildings, as much a protagonist here as the women who inhabit them, are a potent reminder of loss. The life energy is drained from their bones. Whatever lives were once housed within them with their attendant hopes and dreams and have since faded.
Art Miami marks another exciting benchmark for BJ and Richeille Formento whose photographic expeditions have spanned the globe. The Formentos were a top finalist in Vogue's New Exposure Competition 2012, working with Bottega Venetta and Red Digital Camera. A solo exhibition opened in November 2012 to rave reviews at London's Society Club. The couple's work was featured in Vogue Italia's Corso Como Gallery, Milan in both 2012 and 2013. 2013 kicked off in New York City at Edelman Arts and Traffic Art Space, which ran in tandem with an exhibition at Wonderground Studios and Robert Klein Gallery presented their work at Photo Paris earlier this month. Most notably, the Formentos celebrated the release of their first art tome, Circumstance, published by YK Editions in September 2013. The book is accompanied by a short documentary on their work shown throughout the early fall at the Pompidou Museum in Paris.
About Formento + Formento: BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines. After receiving his BFA in Photography from the Academy of Arts University of California, he moved to New York and assisted Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark, and Annie Leibovitz, as well as studied with Eugene Richards and Arnold Newman. Richeille Formento was born in London and attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer in the fashion industry. To view additional work by Formento + Formento visit TrafficNYC.