The photographs on view in this exhibition were taken by Leder over a five year period, and are rarely exhibited to the public. These images, which pre-date the fame of their celebrity subjects, such as models Emily Ratajkowski and Allie Leggett, capture Leder’s process as photographer and evoke a sense of nostalgia.
Never produced for commercial use, his subjects perform with confidence and a sense of self awareness, revealing the comfortability and intimacy Leder employs within his practice. Familiarly contemporary yet seemingly from another time, the photographs explore a vintage aesthetic, harking back to the style of early Playboy magazines and pin-up culture. The intentional amateur-ness of the photographs allow a certain sense of cinema-verite, with locations reminiscent of road trips and vacations, capturing the essence of youth, freedom, liberation and hedonism.
Leder cites Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa as inspiration for this series, replicating the head-tilting, half closed eyelids of the female swoon.
This show opens with an accompanying book, Leder / Ratajkowski Collector’s Edition from Imperial Publishing. Featuring the infamous 2012 polaroid portraits taken of Emily Ratajkowski, the model made famous in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video. This exclusive signed artist edition and print will be available for purchase in the gallery.
About the Artist:
Jonathan Leder (b. 1972, New York) lives and works in Woodstock, New York. He studied painting at Parsons and the Florence Academy of Art before finding work with such renowned photographers as Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, and Javier Vallhonrat. Leder founded his own commercial photo agency, Apostrophe, working with clients including Louis Vuitton, Italian Elle, and Playboy. In 2001, Leder launched Imperial Publishing in 2012. He’s shown at Superette Paris and staged solo exhibitions at Superchief LA and Castor Gallery New York. His work can be found in public and private collections around the world. Leder recently moved into film direction with a short entitled Promiscuities, and American Ecstasy which is currently in progress.