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Backstage

"BACKSTAGE" OPENS AT SERGE SOROKKO GALLERY 430 West Broadway
Reception: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. September 15
The Serge Sorokko Gallery is pleased to announce the new photography exhibition "Backstage," opening Tuesday, September 15, 1998. "Backstage" offers a look behind the scenes of the entertainment and fashion worlds, as well as an exploration of the metaphorical backstage. Works by over 50 international photographers will be included in this comprehensive exhibition. According to Helen Varola, who curated the exhibition with gallery owner Serge Sorokko, "the photographs broadly define the backstage as a state of mind, as well as a place where actors, directors, musicians and models prepare for public view. The images display a range of emotion as the cast of characters in "Backstage" exist together in serious, stressful, or playful anticipation." Some of the images refer to an implicit backstage presence by the onstage activity. Included are Sarah Charlesworth's images of magic tricks which depend on the unseen apparatus lying behind the curtain. Tina Modotti's staged puppet plays also refer to someone backstage who manipulates the puppet strings, controlling the action seen by the viewer.

Some photographers offer a more literal vision of backstage activity. Ken Probst, for example, documents the "backstage" production of pornographic videos. Rather than focusing on the actors, he chronicles the intensity of technical preparations such as camera work and writing. Another literal intrepreter is the legendary rock & roll photographer Jim Marshall, whose ability to develop a special rapport with many musicians has allowed him to create uniquely insightful images. "From the dressing room to the stage," says Mark Seliger, Chief Photographer at Rolling Stone magazine, "Marshall is unquestionably the godfather of rock & roll photography." 

The exhibition also includes backstage glimpses of 20th century icons like Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Louis Armstrong, and the Beatles, as well as revealing shots of fashion models, designers, and entertainers, spanning decades. The show includes works by: Harry Benson, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Brassai, William Claxton, Sante D' Orazio, Alfred Eisenstadt, Marco Glaviano, Volker Hinz, Horst, William Klein, Alexander Liebermann, Roxanne Lowitt, Christopher Makos, Patrick McMullan, Matthew Ralston, Andre Rau, Herb Ritts, and Laurie Simmons, to name a few.

"Backstage" is presented as a sequel to the gallery's inaugural show, "The Last Party: Nightworld in Photographs." The earlier exhibition, which opened in April of 1997, was also curated by Ms. Varola, the freelance curator and critic named "Most Promising Curator" by Coagula Art Journal (1998). The show documented nearly a century of nightlife, tracing club life from as early as the '30s, through the heyday of clubs like Studio 54, to '90s raves and club kids. With "Backstage," the Serge Sorokko Gallery now shows the viewer a less public and often more introspective side to this controversial world of performance and pageantry.

Media Contact: Sarah Breckenridge Livet Reichard Company, Inc. 212-344-8420