At Participant, Josef Astor Catches Mark Morris with his Pants Down

THE DAILY PIC: Astor and Morris attack the cliches of ballet.


THE DAILY PIC (#1324): This is a photo of the great dancer and choreographer Mark Morris, taken by Josef Astor in 1995. It’s now in Astor’s solo show at Participant art space in New York. I love the way it apes the overall feel of elegant dance photography – Astor assisted Irving Penn, so he’s got those chops – and then undermines that model in its details. (Love those dropped tighty-whities, standing out ever so tastefully against a classic Penn backdrop.)

Just about the only discipline that’s more flooded with cliché than ballet is the photography of ballet; just check out the dance ads in the New York Times. Morris tackles those clichés in dance, and Astor goes after their photographic partners.

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