April 9 – May 21, 2016
Saturday, May 21, 2016
6.00 – 8.00 p.m.
ClampArt is proud to present an exhibition of photographs by Venezuelan-born artist Jan Rattia. “Tease” is the artist’s first solo show in New York City.
Jan Rattia spent nearly two years traveling the Unites States—from Washington DC to Atlanta, Miami to Phoenix, and back to New York City—in order to photograph members of a singular and largely misunderstood fraternity: male strippers. Rattia’s images, however, go beyond what most people typically know of men in the profession. While sometimes shooting the dancers onstage as they present themselves to their audience, Rattia more often preferred to capture portraits backstage or at home, in order to create a more fully rounded picture of these men and their lives.
Rattia muses: “Backstage, preparing for their performances, the dancers primp and pump and shave to look their best and meet the expectations of their lucrative patrons.” However, he points out: “Each of the strippers has a story, in many cases mundane and generally unexpected. Most are straight, even though they clearly welcome the attention of other males. They may be students, businessmen, investors, and even doctors, or nothing more than what they appear.”
In cinematic and painterly photographs, Rattia addresses the often-fascinating dichotomy of “the men who create fantasy personas for stuffed cash, and those same men who call their mothers for advice, go home to their wives (or boyfriends), and put themselves through college or medical school.” Writer Michael Callahan continues: “[Rattia] photographed one dancer who was an airline pilot; another was a boxer. Yet another was pursuing his MBA. ‘It wasn’t always the This is my last resort, then I hit rock bottom, and I had to take my clothes off story,’ Rattia says.”
Jan Rattia has been shooting photographs since he bought his first camera at the age of fifteen. His grandfather, father, and brother were all avid leisure photographers. He graduated from the International Center for Photography in New York City in 2012. A catalogue of photographs from the project “Tease” is available for purchase (Softcover, 56 pages, 20 illus., 9.5 x 9.5 inches): http://clampart.com/2016/03/jan-rattia-tease-2/.