New York Art Legends

Gotham’s Finest Revealed in Photographer Alessandra d’Urso’s Intimate Shots

The commanding presence of New York artist Julian Schnabel and the playful spirit of his bohemian cohort Francesco Clemente are strongly felt in Milanese photographer Alessandra d'Urso’s monochrome portraits of art world heavyweights. After ten years on the road capturing the charisma of leading musicians like Iggy Pop, Jack White and Jay-Z, the Paris-based d’Urso turned her attention to artistic profiles. “It began while I was in New York for a month,” d’Urso explains. “I made a portrait of my old friend Francesco Clemente and he liked it so much that he encouraged me to begin a series. I didn’t know very many artists so he made the introductions.” In a few short weeks she was exploring the headquarters of major painters like Alex Katz, Kiki Smith, Philip Taaffe, David Salle and Donald Baechler, and perennial hipster figures such as Tom Sachs and Terence Koh. “Photography is like poetry and rock and roll,” says d’Urso, whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Men’s Uno and Grazia France. “It is not a job, it is a lifestyle.”

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