If you find yourself in Paris in the next couple of weeks, make sure to stop by Galerie Camera Obscura to see the current exhibit of Italian photographer Paolo Roversi. This intimate show is a rare treat from an artist whose work is maddeningly hard to find in real life. He exhibits rarely, and he produces books even more rarely. The best access to his work in print is a smattering of fashion magazines, such as Another or Vogue Italia.
The intimacy of the exhibit, spread over the two small floors of the gallery, is echoed by the intimacy of Roversi’s photos. The show is called Portraits, somewhat prosaically, since Roversi rarely does anything but portraits. He is a studio photographer through and through, and his slightly washed out, warm, decidedly analogue style is an invitation into a world of romantic, whispering softness that is a welcome antidote to the current style of amplified to the max loudness of today’s pop culture.
Most of the two dozen or so photos on display are fashion related and range from one of his most famous images shot for Yohji Yamamoto in 1985 to some recent ones of models clad in Comme des Garçons. There is also that infamous (for those who know, since no Roversi image is infamous) portrait of the Russian super model Natalia Vodianova, from a series shot in 2002, and another one of Gemma Ward and yet another one of Naomi Campbell.
Last but not least, there are also a couple of hard to find books by the photographer, including his latest one, Birds, that showcase his work with Comme des Garçons.
The intimacy of this exhibit will make you linger and slow you down. And if when you leave the gallery the world will look a bit different before you entered, don’t be surprised – Roversi tends to do that.
Paolo Roversi: Portraits. Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris, Now through October 29th, 2022.
All photos courtesy of the gallery.