Published by Steidl. Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by Alexandra Baudelot, Isabelle Pirotte, Emmanuel G. Reynaud.
It has long been a dream of Guido Mocafico’s (born 1962) to photograph the masterpiece glass models of marine invertebrates and plants made by Leopold Blaschka (1822–95) and his son Rudolf (1857–1939). This book fulfills that dream and showcases the Blaschkas’ unparalleled dedication to their craft.
Originally from Bohemia but based in Dresden, the Blaschkas worked from the mid-1800s until the 1930s. From clear, colored and painted glass they handmade their intricate models of invertebrate animals (including jellyfish, sea anemones, starfish and sea cucumbers) as well as plants—only on commission and for the purposes of study—mainly in Europe and North America. The objects were not sold to the general public and are today held in museum collections including those of Harvard University, the Corning Museum of Glass/Cornell University and the Natural History Museums in London and Dublin.
It was a difficult process for Mocafico to gain authorization to photograph the Blaschkas’ creations, as most museums do not display these extremely fragile models. Nonetheless, Mocafico pursued the largest Blaschka collections throughout Europe and eventually gained access to photograph their hidden treasures in his trademark style.
Published by Steidl. Edited by Patrick Remy. Interview by Babeth Djian.
Guido Mocafico: Mocafico Numéro compiles all of Guido Mocafico’s provocative still-life photography shot for Numéro to date in a lavish three-volume slipcased edition. In 1999, pioneering fashion editor and stylist Babeth Djian founded Numéro, the now famous Paris-based fashion magazine with an unmistakable aesthetic boldly combining fashion and contemporary art. Every month since the very beginning of the magazine’s run, Dijan has given Mocafico (born 1962) complete freedom to shoot what he wishes for the closing pages of the magazine. An established fashion photographer and regular contributor to such publications as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and V Magazine, Mocafico composes radical still lifes out of objects like perfume bottles, shoes, watches and jewelry for Numéro, shooting in ways that incorporate the conventions of architecture, landscape and nude photography (and make comparable work in other magazines look like uninspired product shots). These still lifes have become a calling card for the magazine, and the work produced for this experimental forum has sparked some of Mocafico’s most influential series, including Medusa, Movement, Serpens and Stilleven. Luxurious yet slyly critical of contemporary vanity, Mocafico’s work for Numéro continues to upend expectations for fashion magazine photography and provide a model for creative experimentation in the genre.
Stilleven is Guido Mocafico's interpretation of the great Dutch and German still-life paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By painstakingly reconstructing banquet and floral scenes as well as vanitas still-lifes by artists such as Floris van Dijck and Pieter Claesz, Mocafico not only duplicates these paintings but brings them back to life. Using a large-format analogue camera with color transparencies, Mocafico creates brilliant images with the highest degree of verisimilitude. Mocafico's triumph, however, is not only recreating the appearance of things, but his restaging of the devout atmosphere of these paintings. Limited edition of 300 copies signed and numbered by the artist.