FORMENTO + FORMENTO
Formento & Formento known for their romantic and stylish photographs that explore in -desaturated, cinematic scenes - themes of love, longing and the burden of memory. Their style reveals a fascination with mood and texture, and a sense of place figures prominently.
From America, Cuba, Mexico, India to Japan they blend fervent passion for photography and film with a lasting love for one another.
BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines. After studying photography at the Academy of Arts and UC Berkeley , he moved to New York and worked with Mary Ellen Mark, Annie Leibovitz, Eugene Richards and Arnold Newman. Since 2001, he has shot for a host of publications and advertising clients while developing his art photography work.
Richeille Formento was born in London and attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director in the fashion industry.
Formento & Formento entered the Fine Art scene in 2009 with their first series, Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees. Embarking on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, the Formentos travelled through twenty‐five states, photographing the women they found along the way, often recruited the same day as the shoot. Referencing classic American paintings and cinema, Circumstance embodies the combined American visions of both BJ and Richeille. Capturing a country during uncertain times, their dramatically lit subjects are transformed into heroines and femme fatales caught in intense moments of emotion and reflection.
Formento & Formento known for their romantic and stylish photographs that explore in -desaturated, cinematic scenes - themes of love, longing and the burden of memory. Their style reveals a fascination with mood and texture, and a sense of place figures prominently. From America, Cuba, Mexico, India to Japan they blend fervent passion for photography and film with a lasting love for one another.
Their work has convoked a passionate following in a short time with representation and exhibitions that span the globe. From Robert Klein Gallery in Boston to Fahey Klein Gallery LA,
Bonhams NYC, Corso Como Gallery Milan. Permanent collections with International Center for Photography NYC, Currier Museum and Lewben Museum. More recent is their foray in filmmaking won them accolades at Cannes Film Festival 2016 and raising funds for International Rescue Committee with their short film "The Voyage" that drew thousands of people during Art Basel Miami Beach 2015. Vogue Italia, is a continuous supporter of their work, featuring them monthly on Vogue.it. In September 2013 the Formentos celebrated the release of their first art tome, Circumstance, published by YK Editions, accompanied by a short documentary on their work shown at the Pompidou Museum in Paris and their 2nd book published in 2015 entitled “Cinematic Chronicles”. Their increased presence in the international art fair circuit includes Paris Photo, AIPAD, The Armory Show, Photo Shanghai, Art Silicon, Art Miami, Art Wynwood and Photo London.
2015 International Center for Photography NY Permanent Collection
2015 Lewben Museum, Poland Permanent Collection
2015 Currier Museum, New Hampshire Permanent Collection
2016 Photo Vogue Festival, Base Gallery Milano
2016 Art Basel Miami Beach Marcowicz Gallery Miami
2016 Soho House, Miami Feb 1- April 1 Solo Exhibition “She is Cuba”
2016 Parmigiani Gallery Feb 1- April 1 Solo Exhibition “Circumstance”
2015 Women’s Club, Miami She is Cuba and Japan Diaries Solo Exhibition
2015 ABMB / Red Digital Cinema short film and photographs“The Voyage”
2015 Bonhams Auction, NYC
2015 Artnet nude Auction, NYC
2015 In Haus, NYC group exhibition for Midnightrun.org
2015 Photo London, Robert Klein Gallery
2015 Art Wynnwood, Miami Beach, Fl., VVFA Gallery
2014 Art Miami, Miami Beach, Fl. Booth Installation: She is Cuba and Japan Diaries
2014 Snap Gallery, Orlando, Florida
2014 Photo Shanghai, Fahey Klein Gallery
2014 Art Silicon, VVFA Gallery
2014 Fahey Klein Gallery Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles
2014 Robert Klein Gallery, Boston
2014 Robert Klein Gallery, AIPAD, New York
2014 L'Atelier Des Artistes, Paris
2014 Traffic Art Space, New York
2013 Art Basel, Single Artist Booth Presentation, VVFA/Traffic Art Space
2013 Photo Paris, Robert Klein Gallery
2013 Corso Como Gallery, Group Show Vogue Italia, Milan
2013 Traffic Art Space, New York
2013 Wonderground Gallery, New York
2013 Art Miami, Miami Beach, Fl. Booth Installation: Circumstance-American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees
2013 Pompidou Museum, Presentation of a Documentary on Formento + Formento
2012 Underground Gallery, Art Below, Queens Diamond Jubilee, London
2012 Corso Como Gallery, Group Show Vogue Italia 101 Photographs, Milan
2012 Solo Exhibition, Society Club Soho, London
2012 Awarded Vogue’s New Exposure with Bottega Veneta and Red Camera
2012 Solo Exhibition, Salon Gallery, NYC
2012 Milk Gallery, US Vogue Group Show, NYC
2012 Togonon Gallery, San Francisco
2011 Photo District News Annual Winner
2011 Life Support Japan
2011 Yellowkorner Gallery, Germany
2010 Beers Lambert Gallery London
2010 Wall Space Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
2010 Beers Lambert Gallery, London
2010 Le Dumois Gallery, France
2010 Sakura Gallery, Tokyo
2010 Wall Space Gallery, Santa Barbara California
2007 Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
2006 Yerba Buena Gallery, San Francisco
PUBLICATIONS, PRESS, REVIEWS
2016 Cover and 52 page spread in Tartarus Magazine, NYC
2014 Schon! Japan Diaries Review
2014 Aesthetica Magazine, Issue 60 Aug/Sept She is Cuba feature story
2014 L’Oeil, American Beauty on Bruised Knees, Review
2014 American Photo, Through the Eyes of Global Nomads, Japan Diaries, Interview
2014 NORMAL Magazine, Cover and 28 pages
2013 Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees, Coffee Table Book
Pulished by YK Publishers.
2013 AMMO Magazine, Video Interview
2013 Aethetica Magazine, Frozen Narratives, cover story
2013 Surface Magazine, China
2013 Collecting Fine Art TeNeues
2013 Citizen K Magazine
2013 Hunger Magazine
2013 Ideal Magazine, Paris
2013 Version Femina Magazine, Paris
2013 Grazia Magazine, Milan
2013 Paris Match Magazine
2013 Be Magazine
2012 Photo District News Magazine
2012 Aesthetica Magazine
2012 Vogue Magazine (US)
2011 Female Persuasion Magazine
2011 Live Fast Magazine
2011 Photo District News Magazine
2011 Eyemazing Magazine
2011 Live Fast Magazine
2011 Female Persuasion Magazine
2011 Canteen Magazine
2010 Componere Magazine
2010 Picture Magazine
“As outside observers, the Formentos’ stylized images explore the dichotomies that embody modern Japan— blurring the aesthetics between tradition and the ultra modern, fantasy and reality. The captivating tableaus exude a sense of tension, melancholy, and a quiet unease. Each image from Japan Diaries exists as if it were a still taken from a noir Japanese film, each solitary figure yearning for something unknown.” — David Fahey
“In the Japan Diaries they arrived as outsiders, bringing with them rich impressions accumulated from Japanese art and cinema, but possessing keen fresh eyes hungry for the exotic aesthetic contrarieties of this ancient yet ultramodern culture. They move between traditional geisha looks and pop and punky fashions, between the rigorous formality of temples and the neon lit pop of commercial streets, between the serenity of Zen gardens and the tension of kinbaku or rope bondage, between ikebana and commercial packaging. In some scenes we experience a hint of the sort of sexual energy in the films of Nagisa Oshima, In the Realm of the Senses and Empire of Passion—but here there is no resolution, only an allure that inspires longing for something strange and unknown. Everywhere there are hints of what might link these images, but the movie only happens in your head and it can be different every time. Real life happens in motion like cinema. Dreams, bounded only by the imagination, begin in stills.” —Glenn O’Brien
Mária Švarbová is a self-taught photographer and art director based in Bratislava Slovakia. With degrees in art conservation, restoration and archeology Maria found her self instead drawn to the medium of Photography.
Mária’s early work, which was published under the name Aria Baro, focused on surrealist portraiture and with strong Art Nouveau themes, and was a reflection on her background and interest in past periods of art. In 2013 Mária transitioned to more ethereal themes and works such as “ “Forgotten” & “God’s Mirror” (2013) reflect a desire to create a dreamlike narrative of individuals lost within a greater force.
In “Plastic World” (2014) and other most recent works she takes a distinctive approach to aesthetic minimalism and purity. Inspired by the historic artifacts and environments of Communist Czechoslovakia Mária presents an imaginary dehumanized world that features every day situations. Situations that illuminate a fictional world that is inhabited by emotionless individuals who seem to be simply going through the motions—emotionless and static in the roles they assume.
Using a limited subdued palette of colors, the focus is on the narrative. Each frame within the series is meticulous arranged and the models are carefully chosen to reflect the mood and sensation that she is looking for.
Both complex and evocative Mária’s work challenges the roles that humans play in society and ask the viewer to reflect on their own individual role in society.
Mária Švarbová has collaborated with a number of prestigious international fashion and photography magazines such as – Vogue, DODHO and FotoVideo. She has also been the laureate of several photography awards, including the gold medal for excellence at the Trierenberg Super Circuit photography fair in Austria . Maria recently exhibited her work to critical acclaim at Photo LA in Los Angeles.
Ole Marius Joergensen is a fine art photographer with a background in film based in Oslo.
He combines humour and a Norwegian strain of surrealism in his work and finds his inspiration in the inner and outer landscapes of his countrymen.He likes to shoot in the sparsely populated areas of the Northern regions. Many of his iconic images reflect the dreams and mysteries of his countrymen and raise questions of identity.
Norwegians like their privacy and yet some peoples' curiosity can be obsessive…Many times, I have looked at windows and wondered what's going on behind those curtains.
My project is an attempt to unravel some mysteries.
Shinji Ichikawa is a self-taught photographer based in Izumo city, Shimane Prefecture Japan where he runs his own photography studio.
As a child Shinji’s home was also a photography studio, and he grew up from a very young age in an environment surrounded by photography. His first camera was his grandfather’s Mamiya Flex which he carried everywhere with him.
A graduate of Tokyo Visual Arts, he first spent two years as an assistant in a commercial photography studio, after which he went on to work as a photographer's assistant.
Since then he has continued to produce his own works through self-reflection and self-contemplation. His work, which is solely shot in color, reflects his interests in expressing the contradictions of society, and the direction we as humans are taking in this curious world.
“My interest is search for essence of existence or things and an attempt to discover the essence of that “something” so different from the everyday life. It is also a way of stimulating and provoking new perspectives in those who view it”
Inspired by subjective art photograph, surrealist artists René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico and is directly influenced by the work of Japanese Photographer Shoji Ueda. Like Ueda, Shinji captures the surreal world that humans inhabit, and like Ueda he is inspired by the landscapes of southwest Japan.
Amongst the various prizes he has won for his work, Shinji was awarded the Best of Show at the 2011 International Photography Awards, and also won the New Talent of the Year Award at the Moscow International Foto Awards in 2014. His work has also been featured in Dodho Magazine.
WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND
Jacob is a self-taught photographer, art director, and graphic designer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He studied Visual Communication Design at Massey University, Wellington.
Jacob's work is inspired by the natural world around him, particularly his native New Zealand. His first major photographic inspiration came from New Zealand ‘gothic’ films that portrayed a darker side of the usually pristine and ever dominant New Zealand environment. This sense of isolation, silence, and unease within the landscape has translated into Jacob’s work.
“These minimalist scenes with neutral colours, sometimes extinct in low-light, exhale a sacred nature where man is a mere figurehead” – Fisheye Magazine
Jacob carefully pieces his images together to create one single narrative. He says: “I have a simple, yet considered approach to photography. I find images/facts and sequence them to tell a story about the world around me. I like the interplay between images and how they give each other more meaning.”
“In some way, Jacob’s images are rather unsettling. They aren’t just landscapes. They are something more. They show great nature, but also reflect upon man’s footprint that grows inexorably ever greater. Whether this is of grave concern - or whether it is just an unnatural but natural evolution – is up to you” – Kontent
KaitemakoA series of images taken on a journey home. Kaitemako has reflective and dreamlike qualities, and a sense of unease amongst the everyday.
The OthersideA series of images taken on a journey across India. Moments of peace found amongst the chaos.
Michael Hitoshi, globally recognized photographer, is best known for his “twilight” series, which captures the transition between unpolarized to artificial lighting.
Born in Japan, 1967, Hitoshi graduates from the College of Arts and Architecture in Tokyo.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1992, he then furthers his studies in photography and quickly begins building a career as a commercial photographer as well as pursuing his sense of art.
Returning his base to Tokyo in 1996, Hitoshi achieves great success as a commercial and fashion photographer.
As Hitoshi spent busy days flying around the globe on various photo shoots, he encounters a “twilight” on board an aircraft from Nice to Paris. “Twilight” before sunrise, Hitoshi looks out the window to discover a heart pounding harmony of natural light gloaming from the sunrise and light flowing out of artificial structures. Engaging in a shoot directly over this perfect scene is indeed a battle with terror and technique and not the least, time consuming. This moment inspired Hitoshi to grow out of a follower and become a reformer.
Ever since, Hitoshi held great passion towards exhibiting fine arts rather than commercial photography.
His works have been the recipient of numerous awards globally, including Most Valuable Prize for Nature department in 2012 at PX3 in Paris, and nominated as Hasselblad’s Masters Finalist in 2013.
Beginning in 2009, the “twilight” series has been exhibited all around Japan, including a solo-exhibit at Hasselblad Gallery Japan in 2013, and continues presentation at Major Art Fairs across the globe.
Hitoshi’s latest publication them is “LINE”. Graphically representing the cubical skyscrapers simply by their horizons and vertical “lines”, Hitoshi expresses the city of Tokyo with peculiarity.
Akira Takaue: Yokohama Japan
Dr. Akira Takaue is an International Award-Winning Fine Art Photographer, working for not only architectural photography as a professional architectural photographer but also various international huge construction projects worldwidely such as long-span cable supported bridges and relevant mega architectures as an architect and professional engineer. And has completed a Doctoral Degree (Dr.Eng., Ph.D.) in Structural Mechanics specialized in bridges and architectures, being involved with academic activity for such the fields in various international educational establishment and conferences.
For international photographic competition, MATRIX SERIES utilizing Flat-Plain Images won 1st place winner of the category of architecture in INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS and MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FOTO AWARDS, etc and won 2nd place winner of Japan Category at SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS; he has been world widely given high marks in the various international photographic competition.
Besides, not only the MATRIX SERIES but also PORTAL SERIES, SKYLINE SERIES, BRIDGE SERIES, etc, various fine art concepts regarding photography of architecture and civil structures have received internationally high values and marks; present day, he is in active as a professional architecture/civil structure photographer for contributionof various articles with his photography to domestic and foreign photographic magazines, for holding solo-exhibition in commercial galleries mainly in Tokyo and also for assignment as an independent curator of various international photographic competition.
世界規模の国際写真コンテストでは、2013年に発表した「フラットプレーンイメージ」を駆使した「マトリックスシリーズ」がインターナショ ナルフォトグラフィーアワード（米国：ニューヨーク・カーネギーホール）での建築写真総合部門・最優秀賞を受賞、モスクワインターナショナルフォトアワー ド（ロシア）での建築写真総合部門・最優秀賞を受賞、さらにはソニーワールドフォトグラフィーアワード日本部門賞２位受賞等、世界中で数々の賞を受賞し高 い評価を受けている。
Tribeca, New York City
Reka Nyari is a professional fine art and fashion photographer based in New York City. Born to a Finnish mother and a Hungarian father, she grew up in both Finland and Hungary and was drawn to the arts at a very young age. At the age of seventeen she moved to New York where she studied at the School of Visual Arts.
Soon after graduating she started modeling and quickly found herself drawn to in the other side of the Lens. It was while working and travelling thru Europe and Asia she discovered her in passion for Photography and moved back to New York in 2004 and started her career as a photographer.
Reka’s images are inspired by her love for the narrative of cinema and particularly the work of Roman Polanski and David Lynch, both “Bitter Moon” and “Blue Velvet “are a influence. Her photography influences include Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Miles Aldridge and Cindy Sherman.
Like Sherman, Reka’s work delves into the world of female sexuality and societal norms. The work, which transitions easily from black and white, explores the world of adult sexuality and eroticism from a predominantly female perspective. Sexy, edgy, and resilient, Reka’s narratives capture women who are in control, their sexuality defined independent of the male.
Geisha Ink, inspired by conceptualizing traditional Geisha images with Yakuski (Japanese gangster) tattoos (Irezumju), is shot in black and white, and depicts a woman whose body is covered in tattoos. Each tattoo is created by a past friend or lover and reflects a period in her past, allowing the images to form a contemporary history of her life, one defined and controlled by her. Sexy, edgy, and resilient, Reka’s narratives depict women whose sexuality defined independent of the male.
Reka works and plays in New York City, creating fashion editorials, campaign, album covers, artistic portraits, and erotic photography. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries in the US and Europe. She has received awards from many prestigious organizations including first place Winner of International Photography Awards (IPA) 2010, Beauty Pro Category. Her 225 page Monograph book titled “Femme Fatale: Female Erotic Photography” is published in 6 languages and sold worldwide.
Her commercial client list is extensive and includes Nexxus, Kiki de Montparnasse, RADO Switzerland, AOL, Liz Claiborne, MODO, Caress, DC Comics, Sally Hansen and Ultra Records. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Esquire, Vanity Fair, Tatler, Korean Cosmopolitan, and Twill.
She recently exhibited her “Geisha Ink” Solo Show, April 2015, KEE Club, Hong Kong to much acclaim.
She is currently working on several books at a time including a contemporary exploration of the Kama Sutra that explores sensuality through all five senses from a woman’s perspective and a coffee table art book of her acclaimed “Nude York” work. She has also recently begun painting on her fine art prints and has begun to explore film and video. She will debut her work for Momentum Fine Art during Photo Independent Art Fair in Hollywood, California in April 2016.
Educated in Italy where she lives and works as a photographer.
Her approach to photography and its development was almost entirely self-taught.
Awarded at IPA, at the Sony World Photography Awards, at Px3, at LifeFramer and at "The Uncanny " Contest Gregory Crewdson and PhotoVogue.
One of her works is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art MACS Sicily.
She has exhibited internationally with group shows in London and in Italy and her work has been featured in the Huffington Post De, Musée Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, Plastik, Trendland, Art Sheep, Iris, Fubiz, Ignant, HungerTv, Fondazione, Pitti discovery, Rai news , Einaudi, Lens Culture amongst many others.
Rohan Reilly is a self-taught photographer and fine art gallery owner based in Cork, Ireland. Formerly a record label owner, producer, and DJ, Rohan lived in Barcelona, Spain for several years. Inspired by the historic art and architectural scenes, he developed a fascination for the works of Calatrava and Gaudi and soon after took to his craft.
Rohan’s initial work focused on the architecture of the city, but he quickly began to focus on the abstract landscape of the Catalonian coast and Cadaques, a remote fishing village on the Costa Brava coast.
Influenced by the work of English photographer Michael Kenna and Japanese minimalist artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, Reilly was also inspired by the music he produced and created as a DJ.
Music was a catalyst for his work with images that reflect the control of a composer who creates simple uncluttered compositions, reducing a scene to the essential elements and drawing the viewer in to the textures, tones, and composition.
“The music that inspired me was quite often very sparse and atmospheric with lots of depth. I made a conscious decision to draw connections between these images and the music I listened to and played: this relationship helped me develop my photographic style.”
His images are shot exclusively in black and white with long exposures, creating a perspective and ethereal mood for the viewer that is unique and compelling.
Reilly uses long exposures to draw out the essential elements of a scene. His images are enigmatic and compelling, inviting us into a monochromatic world of clean lines and powerful shapes.
Reilly’s work focuses on the sky and sea as elements forming a blank canvas that impart moods of serenity, solitude, melancholy, hope and wonder. There is a simplicity and wonder when combined with long exposures, particularly scenes that reflect inclement weather fog, rain, snow, and flooded terrains to draw out these essential elements, creating a perspective and mood that is deeply introspective.
In 2013 Rohan travelled to Japan to photograph the unique and minimalist images of the Japanese countryside.
He also developed an appreciation for Zen philosophy and the aesthetics of Wabi Sabi and the principles of Kanso, Fukinsei and Shibui, among others.
His work became more minimal and abstract as he discovered Japanese influences while utilizing the form, shapes, and lines that he had observed in the architecture in Barcelona.
Rohan has received awards from many prestigious organizations including The Prix De La Photographie in Paris, International Photography Awards, Grand Prix de la Decouverte, UK Landscape Photographer of the Year, and Black and White Spider Awards.
He exhibits regularly in Ireland and has been published in magazines and newspapers including The Irish Sunday Times, The Independent, Photography Week, and Dodho Magazine.
He is currently working on a series of work titled Sketches. When not running his gallery he photographs and teaches popular photography workshops across Ireland and Europe.
Gabriel Isak was born in Huskvarna, Sweden. He uses photography as a metaphor for experiences of the soul by creating photographs that are simple in form, but rich in ideas and emotions. His imagery entails surreal and melancholic scenes inspired by the inner world of dreams and psychology, where he invites the viewer to interact with the internal world of solitary figures that symbolize our own unconscious states. The objective of Isak's art is to reflect human experiences that will allow the spectator to reflect on their own journey. Gabriel is currently residing in San Francisco, California.