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9/11 and Naked Women - Controversial Photographer Opens His Own Gallery

Full of unexpected twists and turns can life sometimes be

Full of unexpected twists and turns can life sometimes be. Photographer Rafael Fuchs could tell you about it. This mid-career artist experienced both highs and lows but it seems that no matter what, Fuchs is always able to stand up, dust off his shirt and put on a big smile.

Fuchs, proud resident of Bushwick since 2005, nearly lost his studio on Bogart Street earlier this year. In a decisive moment, fate graciously turned on her tiptoes for him, and not only was he able to maintain his space (and huge sign FUCHS), but he was also given an opportunity to open his own exhibition space at 56 Bogart. Fuchs Projects is now located in part of the former Interstate Projects, which moved to 63 Knickerbocker in the beginning of the summer (more about Interstate coming up soon).

NSFW!!! 

Fuchs, proud resident of Bushwick since 2005, nearly lost his studio on Bogart Street earlier this year. In a decisive moment, fate graciously turned on her tiptoes for him, and not only was he able to maintain his space (and huge sign FUCHS), but he was also given an opportunity to open his own exhibition space at 56 Bogart. Fuchs Projects is now located in part of the former Interstate Projects, which moved to 63 Knickerbocker in the beginning of the summer (more about Interstate coming up soon).

 

Hesitation mixed with pride accompanied the soft opening of Fuchs Projects on Friday, September 7, 2012. The first exhibition titled While You Were Sleeping is a two-part exhibition of Rafael Fuchs’ older and recent work. The work exhibited in the first room displays nude women, mostly captured asleep or in intimate moments such as in the shower or in a drug high. The work in the other room relates to the 9/11 tragedy. Fuchs was attending a roof gathering on Bleecker Street that day, and captured the first reactions of his companions to the event. People in the photographs could hardly comprehend the impact of the tragedy in that moment, and many of the images resemble vacation photos (“Oh, look that’s me doing a V sign while the Twin Towers are burning”). The images are shocking and offensive to many, but expressions of art to others.

The nudes in the other room are only seemingly unrelated. Just as Fuchs’ 9/11 series, the nude photographs pose the question of when it is acceptable to take photos. Who decides that and where exactly is that borderline? Rafael Fuchs said that he has model releases from all of the models so the posed question isn’t legal, it’s strictly ethical. The portrayed women vary from professional nude models to random acquaintances from Bogart Street. One of the sleeping women later died of a drug over-dose. Another photographed woman spent the night at Fuchs’ studio after she met the photographer while singing in the street. Fuchs says that she went to organize her purse, and was found later on “passed out” on drugs next to a huge mess.

 

 

So can you take a picture in a moment like that? If the answer is no, then does the fact that you are artistically compelled give you an exception? If the answer is yes, then what if the photograph doesn’t meet aesthetic standards? What if you took it with a camera phone instead of an expensive DSLR? Would it still be ok? The questions are endless...

While You Were Sleeping is controversial, and Rafael Fuchs again confirmed his role of enfant terrible in Bushwick photography. But honestly, sometimes it’s not bad to muddy the waters...

 

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