Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Photo: Norbert Miguletz
© Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2013

 

The work of Philip-Lorca diCorcia (*1951) inhabits a space between documentary and fiction, combining real people and locations with elaborate cinematography. His meticulously executed photographs explore the tensions between candid and fated scenarios, often examining the reality of the so-called American Dream. He is perhaps best known for his iconic series Hustlers, in which he photographed male prostitutes of Los Angeles, using a government grant to pay his subjects, all against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s. Since then he has redefined street photography with his series Streetwork (1993–97)—frozen moments on the sidewalks in cities around the world that capture haunting fragments of urban drama with the vibrant color and detail of Old Master paintings.

 

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Philip-Lorca diCorcia studied at School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University a few years before the likes of Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisroe, Jack Pierson and David Armstrong, an influential group of artists who became known as the Boston School of photography. Early works, from the late 1970s, featured diCorcia’s friends and family in scenes that evoke a huge spectrum of emotions—from loneliness to contemplation, dissatisfaction to humor. Staged, artificial lighting is a vital element of diCorcia’s work, imbuing seemingly everyday situations with Baroque theatricality. The artist’s subtle interventions encourage the viewer to delve deeper into the subject and individual within the artwork, provoking an awareness of the psychology and emotion of real-life situations. The artist has also made extensive use of the Polaroid, often using the medium to test composition or lighting before committing an image to film, but he has also exhibited the small-scale pictures as artworks in their own right, highlighting his ability to capture, even at small scale, all the drama and immediacy of everyday life.

Inspired by the likes of Walker Evans, Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand, and following the success of the Hustlers series, diCorcia moved further towards street photography—reinvigorating the genre in the ‘90s with series such as Streetwork (1993–97), and Heads (2000–01). For the latter series, diCorcia stationed his camera on a tripod in New York’s Times Square, attaching strobe lighting on scaffolding across the street, to create images that suspend slices of time. The artist confronts the viewer with an anonymous passerby, free of autobiographical detail yet pulsing with vividness and the unique characteristics of a particular person. More recent work includes the expansive series East of Eden (2008–present), which looks at the daily rituals and ongoing hardships of American life, from suburban neighborhoods to parched Western landscapes, after the economic downturn.

 

Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Photographs 1975–2012
The Hepworth Wakefield, February 14–June 1, 2014
© The Hepworth Wakefield 2014
Works
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Lacy, 2008
Inkjet print
102.6 × 152.4 cm
40 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Lacy, 2008
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Lynn + Shirley, 2008
Inkjet print
102.6 × 152.4 cm
40 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Lynn + Shirley, 2008
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Untitled, 2008
Inkjet print
102.6 × 152.4 cm
40 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Untitled, 2008
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
East of Eden 1 of 3
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Tennille, 2004
Fuji Crystal Archive print mounted to Dibond
170.18 × 117.09 cm
67 × 46 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Tennille, 2004
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hannah, 2004
Fuji Crystal Archive print mounted to Dibond
170.18 × 117.09 cm
67 × 46 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hannah, 2004
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Juliet Ms. Muse, 2004
Fuji Crystal Archive print mounted to Dibond
170.18 × 117.09 cm
67 × 46 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Juliet Ms. Muse, 2004
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Harvest Moon, 2004
Fuji Crystal Archive print mounted to Dibond
170.18 × 117.09 cm
67 × 46 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Harvest Moon, 2004
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Lucky 13 1 of 4
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #10, 2000
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #10, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #13, 2000
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #13, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #23, 2000
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #23, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #4, 2000
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #4, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #7, 2000
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Head #7, 2000
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Heads 1 of 5
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, September 1997, #9, 1997
Ektacolor print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, September 1997, #9, 1997
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, September 2000, #2, 2000
Ektacolor print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, September 2000, #2, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, March 2000, #12, 2000
Ektacolor print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, March 2000, #12, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“ Cuba March 2000, #8, 2000
C-Print
121.9 × 152.4 cm
48 × 60 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“ Cuba March 2000, #8, 2000
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, March 2000, #13, 2000
Archival pigment print
81.3 × 100.3 cm
32 × 39 1/2 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
„W“, March 2000, #13, 2000
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
"W" 1 of 5
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Marilyn, 28 years old, Las Vegas, Nevada, $30, 1990-92
Chromogenic print
59.7 × 92.1 cm
23 1/2 × 36 1/4 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Marilyn, 28 years old, Las Vegas, Nevada, $30, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Eddie Anderson; 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20, 1991/92
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Eddie Anderson; 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20, 1991/92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Ike Cole; 38 years old; Los Angeles, California; $25, 1991/92
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Ike Cole; 38 years old; Los Angeles, California; $25, 1991/92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
William Charles Everlove, 26 years old, Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40, 1990-92
Chromogenic print
60.3 × 91.1 cm
23 3/4 × 35 7/8 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
William Charles Everlove, 26 years old, Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Chris, 28, Los Angeles, CA, $28, 1990-92
Ektacolor print
76 × 101.5 cm
30 × 40 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Chris, 28, Los Angeles, CA, $28, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Major Tom, 20 years old, Kansas City, Kansas, $20, 1990-92
Chromogenic print
60.3 × 91.1 cm
23 3/4 × 35 7/8 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Major Tom, 20 years old, Kansas City, Kansas, $20, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Brent Booth, 21 years old, Des Moines, Iowa, $30, 1990-92
Chromogenic print
60.3 × 91.1 cm
23 3/4 × 35 7/8 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Brent Booth, 21 years old, Des Moines, Iowa, $30, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Gerald Hughes (a.k.a. Savage Fantasy); about 25 years old; Southern California; $50 , 1990-92
Fuji Crystal Archive print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Gerald Hughes (a.k.a. Savage Fantasy); about 25 years old; Southern California; $50 , 1990-92
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hustler 1 of 8
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Los Angeles, 1994
Ektacolor print
50.8 × 60.6 cm
20 × 23 7/8 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Los Angeles, 1994
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
New York, 1993
Ektacolor print
62.2 × 95.2 cm
24 1/2 × 37 1/2 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
New York, 1993
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
London, 1997
Chromogenic print
76.2 × 101.6 cm
30 × 40 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
London, 1997
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Calcutta, 1998
Ektacolor print
76.2 × 101.6 cm
30 × 40 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Calcutta, 1998
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mexico City, 1998
Ektacolor print
76.2 × 101.6 cm
30 × 40 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mexico City, 1998
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Streetworks 1 of 5
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mario, 1978
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mario, 1978
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Sergio &Toti, 1985
Chromogenic print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Sergio &Toti, 1985
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Brian, 1988
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Brian, 1988
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Noemi, 1988
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Noemi, 1988
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Spinolas, 1984
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Spinolas, 1984
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Vittorio Scarpatti, 1989
Ektacolor print
76.2 × 101.6 cm
30 × 40 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Vittorio Scarpatti, 1989
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Gianni, 1984
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Gianni, 1984
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Family & Friends 1 of 7
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Auden, 1988
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Auden, 1988
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
DeBruce, 1999
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
DeBruce, 1999
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mario, 1981
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Mario, 1981
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Fred, 1988
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Fred, 1988
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hartford, 1978
Ektacolor print
51 × 61 cm
20 × 24 inches

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hartford, 1978
Details
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Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Storybook Life 1 of 5

 

Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Hustlers
May 2–June 21, 2014
Berlin

In the early 1990s, Philip-Lorca diCorcia made five trips to Los Angeles, where he drove along Santa Monica Boulevard and nearby neighborhoods on the lookout for male prostitutes. The artist would then strike a deal: he offered each prostitute his normal rate, asking only to take their photograph. The resulting series, today called Hustlers, was both a breakthrough for the artist and a key episode in the now familiar mode of photography that occupies a semi-fictive space between street and stage.

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Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
November 30, 2006–January 27, 2007
Munich

The New York artist Philip-Lorca diCorcia takes photographs that operate between the documentary tradition and the staged superficial images of film and advertising. In the late 1970s diCorcia began his series Family and Friends, taking photographs of friends and family members in deliberately staged settings and poses. He shows these people in seemingly banal everyday situations that on one level make the photos look like snapshots. Scenes like these are familiar, and yet it is hard to turn away from these pictures. The staging is so accomplished and finely planned, right down to the last detail, that it compels us to linger, and to consider the emotional and psychological meaning behind what seems to be just everyday.

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Press

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Musée, article by Ashley Yu and Andrea Blanch, August 2019

Philip-Lorca di Corcia: The Hepworth Wakefield
Frieze, review by Sara Knelman, May 2014

Rent boys and pole dancers – the photographs of Philip-Lorca diCorcia
The Guardian, article by Sean O’Hagan, February 14, 2014

Interview with Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Art.Zip, interview by Li Bowen, 2014

Die Schönheit schlechter Nachrichten
Frankfurter Allgemeine, article by Freddy Langer, June 22, 2013

Photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s best shot
The Guardian, interview by Sarah Phillips, June 5, 2011

Q & A: Philip-Lorca diCorcia
The New York Times, interview by Cathy Horyn, February 11, 2011

Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Whitechapel Art Gallery
Artforum International, review by Barry Schwabsky, September 2003

Biography

Philip-Lorca diCorcia (*1951, Hartford, CT). Selected solo exhibitions include TRAMPS, New York (2019), Hepworth Wakefield (2014), Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and Museum de Pont, Tilburg (both 2013), LACMA, Los Angeles (2008), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Magazin 3, Stockholm Konsthall, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice and Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra (all 2003/2004), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1997) and Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993).

 

 

Education
1979 M.F.A., Yale University, New Haven, CT
1976 Post Graduate Certificate, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
1975 Diploma, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
1980 Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
1986 Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
1987 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
1997 Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize, shortlist
1998 Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, Life Magazine, Style Essay
1989 Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
2001 Infinity Award for Applied Photography
2001 International Center of Photography
Public Collections
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Baltimore Museum of Art
Bertelsmann Music Group, New York
Banesto Corporation, Madrid
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Birmingham Museum of Art
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography
Columbia College Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
Dallas Museum of Art
DZ Bank Collection, Frankfurt
Dreyfus Corporation, New York
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, CT
Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid
Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena
Gemente Museum, Helmond
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museo Nacional Centro de Art Reina Sofia, Madrid
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum Folkwang, Essen
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Pecci Museum, Prato
National French Foundation for Contemporary Art (FNAC)
Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS
Vancouver Art Gallery
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT