Dazed Digital


Wayne Maser, Susi Billingsley and Cecile Leroy

April 30, 2012

An inspired pairing of iconic photographer and forward thinking curators celebrating Americana and Rome

  • Text by Terence Teh

Earlier this year in a cavernous former slaughter house in Romeʼs creatively emerging meatpacking district, the silver haired fox and fashion photography legend Wayne Maser unveiled a rare and enigmatic photography show during Rome's AltaRoma - an inspired fashion and art festival celebrating the city's artisan and craft heritage - where AnOther Magazine presented KM3D-1 in 2011.

Wayne Maser came to prominence in the 80s working for American Vogue and Ridley Scott before going on to shoot iconic portraits of cultural legends including Madonna and Johnny Depp and timeless campaigns for Guess? and Calvin Klein. Obsessed with the ephemeral and transitory nature of photography, he never kept an archive of his work or even his negatives and it took a little persuasion from Disposable's curators Susi Billingsley and Cecile Leroy to put on this show. Although keeping with the fleeting essence of his work, the exhibition was all printed on butchers paper with prints given away for free at the show's packed opening night.

Satellite Voices: How did you first meet Wayne Maser and what were your first impressions?
Susi Billingsley: I first met Wayne in the late 80s when I arrived at American Vogue and I clearly recall Wayne having that particular "I do it by my own rules" kind of thing. That attitude strongly translated in his photographic work, it became his signature. His exploring the possibility of putting the work of a lifetime out there and choosing Rome had Cecile and I thrilled at the idea of collaborating together to make it happen.

SV: Can you tell us more about the concept of the show?
Susi Billingsley and Cecile Leroy: Wayne was very clear about a few things: he wanted a photo event, not a photo show. He came to us with the concept of fragments from his past and the need to move forward to a new body of work. We loved when Wayne said, "This is for the people." Disposable became the thread that tied all the elements around the exhibit: his portraits, nudes, bare flesh exposed on butcher's paper. So what better place to hang the show than Rome former's butcher-house?

DD: What is the significance of AltaRoma in Rome?
Susi Billingsley and Cecile Leroy: Since Silvia Venturni Fendi was appointed President of AltaRoma the change in speed and direction in term of setting an identity has been very apparent. Silvia's Altaroma has been mapping this very diverse body of artists, artisans and designers as a voice.

DD: Is the ephemeral and transitory nature of photography something that you like to explore?
Susi Billingsley and Cecile Leroy: In curating this exhibit this very question came up more that once. We are witnessing the transition from a world of paper and documentation to one of the web, creating a new form of memory. Everything is transitory and everything will be disposable.

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