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Blog: Inspiration Between the Lines

Txema Yeste: Crossroads at Staley-Wise Gallery

Color is elevated to supreme heights in an exhibition of dye-transfer photographs showcasing the fashion photography of imagemaker Txema Yeste. A native of Spain who began his career as a photojournalist, Yeste perhaps owes his eye for fashion to a long-term personal project photographing traditional Spanish costume.

Txema Yeste, Shanelle Before Sunset, 2018 
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

 

Txema Yeste, Umbrella, 2017
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

In several of Yeste’s photographs, formal qualities of texture, shape and light are draped, tied and worn in the form of textiles, by models who elegantly prostrate to the allure of a lush materiality. Situated against natural backdrops of sky, desert, distant mountain ranges, or low-lying clouds, the color photographs on view are amplified by the presence of Mother Nature within their frames.

Black and white photography is also part of the exhibition, titled, Txema Yeste: Crossroads, offering an equally emotive counterpoint to Yeste’s color work. High contrast and gradations of light radiating off of bodies sculpted in detailed garments bring an intensity to these images, once again situating the model as a vital, yet obscured presence in the photographs.

 

Txema Yeste, Monika, New York, 2011
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

 

Txema Yeste, Golden Mask, Tenerife, 2014
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

 

However, for anyone with a passion for color, the rich hues of reds, greens, golds, blues and blacks are a luxurious focal point in many of the images. Colors permeate structured spaces within each image, often organized around a color palette of three or four. The dye-transfer process is one of the oldest forms of color printing and lays claim to the largest color and tonal range possible. Yeste’s work, made with four separate color plates, achieves a vibrancy that is incomparable to inkjet prints and the plasticity of digital.

In two images that have swaths of red fabric loosely held by women, billowing out of the image frame, the volume and life of the fabric is palpable. Appearing to be almost otherworldly, the women, with their backs to the camera, seem to be engaged in both an earthlier and more mystical relationship with life.

Txema Yeste, Fuerteventura, 2018
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

 

Txema Yeste, Adolescent in Sunday Best from 19th Century, Murcia, 2018
©Txema Yeste / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

 

Yeste’s work has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and in advertising campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Giorgio Armani and others. Giving not just a photograph but a sublime emotional experience of beauty and depth, Yeste evokes a refined appreciation of aesthetic harmony within the borders of a photograph.

 

Txema Yeste: Crossroads at Staley-Wise Gallery is on view through November 2, 2019.

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