TARO NASU is pleased to announce the solo exhibition by Alessandro Raho, “Jessica”, from October 13, 2017. Raho is well known for the portraits of his own families or friends and landscapes of his local places. In this show, we will showcase of seven portraits of Jessica, artist’s sister.
Born in Bahamas 1971, Lives and works in London. After graduating from Goldsmiths College in 1994, he held solo exhibitions all over the world including London, New York, San Francisco, Milan. As one of the YBA, He participated in many important exhibitions such as “Brilliant!” at Walker Art Center with Damien Hirst and other artists.
In pursuit of the possibility of the portrait today, Raho adopts the approach of taking a photo of a person first and painting on a canvas based on the photograph. In his works, the person is usually posing at the center of white background. The people seem to be dressed in everyday clothes, but actually the artist selects their outfits carefully, such as black tights, high fashion brand’s dresses and character T-shirts. Raho obviously refers to the method of fashion photos and make references to it visually.
It can be said that fashion photo has the twisting relationship with the tradition of portrait. The traditional portrait was ordered to clarify the status of the person, enclosed with various elements which identify the person, such as luxurious backgrounds and clothes. In fashion photo, it is also carefully directed by social symbols to express the value of clothing and person wearing it, like a model wearing a T-shirt printed a high brand logo and seeing us.
What is chosen as subjects in Raho’s works are close acquaintances and families. Contrary to the model that smiles towards the camera naturally, they stiffen and show us somewhat awkward expression. Jessica’s appearance on the paintings can be also said as also the symbolic portrait of ourselves, surrounded by various symbols and ideologies today.