The Unexpected Choreography of Robert Longo's "Men in the Cities" Series
For his Men in the Cities series, Robert Longo set up his camera on the rooftop of his apartment and threw a variety of objects at his friends, capturing their aggressive reactions in these remarkable photographs, created between 1977 and 1983. The jerks and spasms of Longo's subjects, sharply dressed in business attire, have an elegance and grace that is entirely unexpected; protective reactions and exaggerated gestures have been turned into effortless and authentic choreography, a ballet of falls and stumbles, leaps and trips. The movements are fresh and vital, full of energy and life, even while they portray a sense of agony. They document an essence of human motion, boiled down to pure expression. This work later became the inspiration for his iconic Men in the Cities series of large-scale, monochrome charcoal and graphite drawings.
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