di Adrian Buckmaster
In his debut book of photography, with a foreword by one of the luminaries of NYC culture and entertainment, Adrian Buckmaster’s monograph presents a staggeringly beautiful collection of portraits – a cross-section of humanity in all of its glorious diversity, from the ordinary to the extraordinary and everything in-between. Having spent his early years shooting commercial beauty and fashion, Buckmaster soon shifted focus to more personal projects, challenging conventional notions of beauty and celebrating the eccentricities of those whom society might classify as “misfits.” Echoes of Buckmaster’s early career remain, in the form of exquisite costuming, make-up, and scenic design. Despite an element of performance, there is an undeniable rawness to these portraits, in which subjects are both aware of the camera’s gaze and sympathetically self-conscious, robing and disrobing, revealing and concealing. Buckmaster’s photographic genius is encapsulated in his uncanny ability to fastidiously art direct while simultaneously stripping away layers of formality and convention. Arranged in three movements: Imposing, Revealing, and Inventing, this collection progresses from traditional portraiture to increasingly intimate portrayals, as subjects expose, create, and invent themselves. Included in this endlessly varied spectrum of characters are Burlesque performers, families, brides, lovers, and all manner of tattoos and body piercings. There are classical reclining nudes, reminiscent of Édouard Manet’s Olympia or Titian’s Sleeping Venus, dancers with incredible physical strength and dexterity, women costumed as peacocks and geishas, a contortionist inside a trunk, even a green-skinned man, bejewelled like an Indian deity. All of this and much more, An Embarrassment of Riches is a joyful celebration of individuality that will leave the reader mesmerised.
> Adrian Buckmaster is a British-born photographer, residing in New York since 1981. His first camera was a 620 Kodak Bakelite Box Brownie, given to him by his mother when he was nine years old. He built his first darkroom when he was thirteen. After a brief detour into three dimensional design, he dropped out of college to pursue his early ambition and was hired by a venerable company of architectural model-makers, Thorp Model Makers, where he aided in the development and adaptation of endoscopes that allowed the viewer a human perspective of tiny scale models and eventually led to his love of architecture. As a result, he was the first photographer to be inducted into the Art Workers Guild, founded in 1882 by William Morris to promote the highest standard of excellence in all the applied arts. Once in America he decided to begin photographing “beauty”, for clients like Revlon, L’Oreal, Kodak, and Colgate-Palmolive, and was the creative photo editor and photographer for Next Fashion magazine. His covers and editorial work ranges from Essence magazine to portraiture of musicians such as Anita Baker, Sade, and others, along with album covers for Elektra Atlantic. His work is regularly included in Huffington Post and Time Out, where he has been documenting the alternative scene since 2000. For his personal projects, he found a way to connect and share a deep love of misfits, who, like himself, are struggling to see themselves in a world that likes labels and promotes conformity.
Veste editoriale: Cartonato
Immagini a colori-b/n: 295