8 EZ STEPS | Gusmano Cesaretti
November 14 - February 7, 2016
These never-before-displayed photographs by Italian-born Los Angeles photographer Gusmano Cesaretti represent a departure from the gritty, black-and-white documentary pictures and portraits of Los Angeles subcultures for which he is mainly known (Fragments of Los Angeles 1969-1989; Street Writers: A Guided Tour of Chicano Graffiti). By contrast, this 1979 series delves into the artist’s experiments in abstraction and eroticism.
Cesaretti took a progressive series of eight tightly cropped black & white photographs of a woman shaving her pubic hair. He made traditional silver gelatin prints which were then turned into high contrast half tones eliminating any grey scale from the images and rendering them purely in black and white. He furthered the mutation by running the halftones through a mid-70s photocopy machine and adding only the color red or green to the images. The result was a combination of pop art and abstraction, producing a voyeuristic view of an intimate, yet anonymous, grooming ritual.