Paolo Roversi portrait of Natalia Vodianova. Photographed on large format 8×10 Polaroid film in Paris 2003. From the exhibition at Fotografiska Stockholm © Paolo Roversi used with permission.
Paolo Roversi is one of my all time favorite artists & portrait photographers. Though many know, or perhaps see his images as fashion photography, his intimate portraiture & nudes, is one of the main reasons he stand out in the crowd.
Besides models like Guinevere Van Seenus & Natalia Vodianova, Roversi has portrayed countless celebrities, including Juliette Binoche, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton etc.
Though his images are exhibited in galleries around the world, and sold as fine art photography prints, and original Polaroids, most of them are commissions for magazines like Vogue, W, ID & for advertising clients like Giorgio Armani, Guerlain, Dior, Cerrutti etc
Paolo Roversi camera & lightning technique
In the 1980s Roversi started using large format 8×10 Polaroids, as his main technique, which is also a big part off his signature style. The 8×10 large format camera brings a slowness to the photographic process, that intensifies the connection & the concentration between model & photographer. The special colors & contrast of the Polaroid film & the instant process, fits perfectly to his beautiful dark & moody images.
Roversi’ use of the large format Polaroid technique is a big part of his images & and the dreamy expression, but its important to know, that the mood, expressions etc is due to the man behind the camera.
When film stock ran out after Polaroid’s bankruptcy, it was time for a change.
At the time of writing Paolo Roversi uses a Hasselblad V camera with a digital camera back.
His main light is daylight, HMI, tungsten & Mac-Lite flash lights.
Books & exhibitions
Dior Images by Paolo Roversi was published on February 27, 2018 by Rizzoli.
His book, “Natalia” with portrait & nude images of the Natalia Vodianova was scheduled for publication in 2017 by Rizzoli International Publications, but is still not unavailable at the time of writing.
Previous books include Libretto, Nudi, Studio & Guinevere Van Seenus.
Roversi is currently exhibited at Shoot gallery in Oslo from 26 April – 26 May 2018
This text was originally published in connection with Roversi’s exhibition at Fotografiska Stockholm October 4th – 12 January 2014.
Text © Kenneth Rimm all rights reserved.
No usage without written permission.