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IntroductionABOUT THE WORK
One look can speak more than a thousand words. In the pictures by Formento2, women’s faces tell entire stories of love, jealousy, fear, longing, and melancholy. The two artists depict their heroines with glamour and style. However, there is always a sense of dread lurking behind the pretty facades.
Alfred Hitchcock probably would have enjoyed the pictures by Formento2. Due to the composition and use of light and shadow, every single image in the series contains so much emotional tension that it seems to burst out beyond the picture’s borders. The artists succeed in allowing the dark side of normality to shine through in oppressive atmospheres.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
BJ and Richeille Formento’s greatly varied talents are what make their work so special. BJ learned his trade under photography’s greats, assisting Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, and Mary Ellen Mark. Richeille comes from the fashion industry, where she worked as an Art Director on shoots for major advertising campaigns.
After meeting in 2005, Formento2 have been inseparable; in fact, they are married. BJ was born in Honolulu in 1964 and studied Photography in San Francisco in the 1980s. Richeille, born in 1975, is originally from London, where she also studied Graphic Design. Since 2001, BJ has worked as a freelance photographer while Richeille has been an Art Director and designer.
I think Richeille and I met in a previous life and made a pact to hook up in this life!
Living out of a trailer for five months, Formento2 travelled through 25 American states. Along the way, they photographed 50 young women in perfectly composed shots. Their inspiration came from travelling, music, and films – they especially prefer the aesthetic of films that greatly preceded the digital age.
Almost artificial-looking lighting, strong contrasts, and very feminine clothing create an atmosphere somewhere between nostalgia and modernity, and intense moments that are both idyllic and yet thrilling. Formento2 come up with the ideas for their photo series together. Then, Richeille creates layered scenes full of allusions, and BJ photographs them perfectly, soulfully.Bio
BJ Formento 1964 Born in Honolulu, Hawaii 1982-1986 Academy of Arts University, BFA in Photography, San Francisco, USA 1999 Moved to New York, worked as an assistant to Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Leibovitz 2001-present Freelance photographer Richeille Formento 1975 Born in London, UK 1996-1998 Central St Martins College of Art and Design, BA with Honours in Graphic Design, London, UK 2001-Present Works as art director and designer in the fashion industry Formento² 2009 Produced the series "Circumstance", photographing 50 women in 25 American states over the course of five monthsExhibitions
2012 Circumstance – America Down on Bruised Knees, The Society Club Soho, London, UK
2012 Art Below – 60 Artists – 12 Countries – 20 Stations – One London, London underground stations, UK 2011 Counterpoint-Photographs, with Peikwen Cheng, BJ Formento and Richeille Formento, Togonon Gallery, San Francisco, USA