June 12, 2024  |  NEWS  |  Share


A journey through the wonders of the sea and

Anonymous Photography




Either one is a sailor or one is not

Joseph Conrad


THE POOL NYC presents a new chapter in its original exploration of Anonymous Photography and its masterpieces. On the occasion of Men’s Fashion Week, the gallery pays homage to the allure of sailors and their unparalleled, timeless elegance. In an installation of ninety anonymous photographs, from mid-19th century France to 1920s Italy, from New Deal America to 1950s Soviet Union, the exhibition tells the story of the eternal seduction of a male myth and the oceanic element in which it was born.

Virile yet graceful in poses that adapt to the flow of the waves, sparkling and smiling in uniforms that continue to inspire both men’s and women’s wardrobes, sailors used photography to freeze time and erase any distance. From the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, and up to the Black Sea, sailors have always photographed themselves everywhere: inseparable among buddies, during manoeuvres and chores, on the ship’s deck building muscles, on leave, just married outside the church, next to the statue of Garibaldi in a photo studio, and in the cabin of a photo booth just before sailing.

In a century of images and great horizons, from 1860 to 1960, this exhibition invites us to become sailors too, to wear the uniform of freedom and adventure, and to set off. After all, as Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

The exhibition features a second installation themed around the scientific and artistic exploration of the starfish. From the archives of the famous Station Biologique de Roscoff in Brittany, founded in 1872 and dedicated to exploring marine species, these anonymous images form an original corpus created in the early 1950s.

The enchantment lies not only in the beauty of the subject but also in the quality of the photographs, which bring us back to the extraordinary experience of Jean Painlevé (1902-1989), biologist, filmmaker, friend of Jean Vigo, Jacques-André Boiffard, and André Breton, and researcher at the Station Biologique de Roscoff. It was in Roscoff between the 1920s and 1930s that Painlevé created his famous photographic and cinematic recordings of starfish, octopuses, seahorses, shrimps, and sea urchins. An unexplored world, whose dreamlike and sensual power the Surrealists intuited, and it is no coincidence that Man Ray asked Painlevé for an excerpt of his recordings to include in the famous film L’étoile de mer (The Starfish) of 1928. A world, still, that comes back to us in an unpublished, hypnotic, and precious collection.


JUNE 4 -SEPTEMBER 29, 2024 


Comments are closed.