Castor Gallery, New York
The photographs on view in this exhibition were taken by Jonathan Leder over a five year period, and are rarely exhibited to the public. These images, which pre-date the fame of their celebrity subjects, such as models Emily Ratajkowski and Allie Leggett, capture Leder’s process as photographer and evoke a sense of nostalgia.
Never produced for commercial use, his subjects perform with confidence and a sense of self awareness, revealing the comfortability and intimacy Leder employs within his practice. Familiarly contemporary yet seemingly from another time, the photographs explore a vintage aesthetic, harking back to the style of early Playboy magazines and pin-up culture. The intentional amateur-ness of the photographs allow a certain sense of cinema-verite, with locations reminiscent of road trips and vacations, capturing the essence of youth, freedom, liberation and hedonism. Leder cites Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa as inspiration for this series, replicating the head-tilting, half closed eyelids of the female swoon.