Opening at the Merchant Archive vintage store in London tomorrow, The Romance of Perfection is a stunning atmospheric photography exhibition of San Francisco Ballet principle dancer Maria Kochetkova from artist James Ostrer. Ostrer has been photographing the Moscow-born dancer for 10 years after being inspired by her obsession with perfection and quirky passion for fashion.
The Romance of Perfection sees the artist using his photographs as a canvas to symbolise and hint at the hidden aspects of Kochetkova’s character, imagine Black Swan and you are pretty much there! Ostrer said: “There is a containment of physical pain and control in ballet which is tightly interwoven with its grace and beauty. I wanted to suggest this through the images of birdcages and her being bound by vintage ribbons.”
Nominated as curator’s choice for the Taylor Wessing awards at the National Portrait Gallery, Ostrer’s 2010 portrait of “Nicky Haslam in Lucian Freud’s chair” explored the intimate relationship between the ‘socialite’ and the ‘artist’. The Romance of Perfection show, which sees Kotchetkova wearing only Merchant Archive clothing, runs alongside her appearance with San Francisco Ballet at Sadler’s Wells from 14-23 September.
The Romance of Perfection is on at Merchant Archive from 13 September 2012 – January 2013