Galerie Gmurzynska is currently presenting an extensive solo show of Wayne Maser’s photography which will be presented for the first time in St. Moritz.
Wayne Maser is one of the most important photographers of the last three decades and was a formative force in the transgressive though classic photographic style of the late-1980s and 1990s. The rough and poetic language of Maser photography brought the fashion label GUESS to the pinnacle of fashion in the late-1980s. He has photographed all of show business’ greatest icons including Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie among many others.
Based in New York since the 1970s, Wayne Maser produced a great body of work for Vogue under Conde Nast’s creative director Alexander Liberman as well as for Interview magazine before moving to Los Angeles and signing with Ridley Scott’s production company to direct videos for Popstars such as Mariah Carey. In the late 00s Wayne Maser returned to New York to shoot covers and major editorial projects for Arena, Vanity Fair and Esquire. Even during his early career his signature style had been compared to the likes of Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.
Maser’s photographs are supreme examples of people’s ‘chronic voyeuristic relations’ as Susan Sontag would put it. In a Barthesian sense every one of Maser’s images has a detailed punctum establishing a touching connection that interpolates the observer. Whether in his rough portraits or sensual fashion photography, there is always something rousing, that conveys the short-lived and desirable nature of beauty.
The photographs in the selection for this retrospective come from several different periods of Maser’s work, with his oeuvre’s dreamlike ephemerality running like a golden thread through the exhibition. The images range from in-depth close-ups of Elizabeth Taylor and Rob Lowe, to powerful portraits of the young movie star Johnny Depp and the old Beatnik literary icon William Burroughs.
As the late Glenn O’Brien wrote about the exhibited photos, “they are elusive, incomplete, teasing representations of their subjects, evocative of process and mystery. They are fragments of time, with the flawed patina of mature memory, smoky mirrors of a past that can only be partially and tantalizingly reconstructed.”
Wayne Maser was born in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1946. After dropping out of the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, he studied photography at the Philadelphia College of Art.
Maser currently lives and works between New York and Italy. He is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, Vogue and A Magazine among many other publications.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue containing a foreword by Isabelle Bscher, and texts by Maser’s long-time collaborator Lapo Elkann as well as the late Glenn O’Brien.
Wayne Maser – Wayne’s World
Galerie Gmurzynska St. Moritz
Exhibition design by Antonio Monfreda
February 11 – March 24, 2018
Writing via press release
Photographs courtesy of the artist and Galerie Gmurzynska