new-york

Samuel Fosso

Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

Posed against a stained curtain, a slim young sailor-prince wearing high-waisted bell-bottoms, a cap printed with the Kodak logo, and extra-large sunglasses gazes off into an imaginary distance. The studio lights that illuminate him are visible on either side of the frame, as is the camera’s own reflection in one of the lamps. In another image in this survey of Samuel Fosso’s nearly three-decade-long practice of self-portraiture, the kneeling photographer supplicates his camera with two fistfuls of flowers, like a heartthrob in an old Hollywood romance. Fosso conjures instant glamour and fantastic personas with the barest of means: A cheap bath towel draped across his slight shoulders lends him the untouchable elegance of a movie star relaxing between scenes, and in several photos ordinary vinyl dishwashing gloves are worn with dandyish insouciance. Ninjas, businessmen, pop stars, and

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