Irina Ionesco, gelatin silver print, 40 x 30 cm
"Dubbed “the ‘grande dame’ of photography erotica” by the Independent, Ionesco’s work is a tribute to femininity in all its meant theatrical excesses.
Ionesco who lacked technical knowledge but admired highly skilled luminaries such as Cecil Beaton, and later Robert Mapplethorpe, achieved to turn this initial problem into an advantage. It allowed her to create her own visual language unburdened by conventions and mainly based on alternative modes of lighting (candles) and exposure (putting a 400 ASA film on 800 ASA). From her first experiments with the medium she also kept the habit of using a Nikon F camera, the same model she had received as a Christmas gift from her lover Belgian COBRA artist Corneille in 1964.
Ionesco’s models often look directly into the lens defiantly. The dolls they hold and the fetishistic accessories they wear work to heighten their nudity as they stand, sit or lay down. They seem to play roles in clichéd fantasies in which they become in turn children, goddesses and perhaps whores. Some of the props and dresses hint at exotic cultures whereas backgrounds might remind one of Victorian photography settings, and hairdos of Rossetti’s paintings. Alice in Wonderland meets Richard Avedon, Orientalist painting and Symbolism.
[…] As French surrealist Andre Pieyre De Mandiargues once stated “Irina Ionesco’s sexual world belongs to a place where there is no licence to touch. It is the world of dreams.” It is perhaps a dark dream as the title of the group exhibition at Reflex Gallery seems to imply.”
GALERIE ALEX DANIELS - REFLEX AMSTERDAM
Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944)
Weib mit rotem Haar und grünen Augen. Die Sünde
Blattmaß: 77 x 53,1 cm
Darstellung: 69,9 x 40,2 cm
The Munch Museum / The Munch Ellingsen Group
VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008