New York City’s Padre Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of archival photography by Javier Porto entitled “Painting to the Star.” Curated by Pablo G. Villazán, the presentation features images of Keith Haring painting the nude body of disco star, Grace Jones, in Robert Mapplethorpe’s studio as part of a photoshoot for Interview Magazine.
The session, which took place on July 24, 1984, was to help Jones promote her Slave to the Rhythms on the publication led by Andy Warhol. “Robert Mapplethorpe would be in charge of photographing the model once the work was finished. During this whole process, Javier Porto photographed the protagonists, he documented every moment,” said the gallery in a statement.
Porto started his career as street photographer in Madrid back in the late 1970s following the death of dictator Francisco Franco. The photographer’s earliest images portrayed the cultural shift, societal tension and attitudes during these crucial times in the Spanish capital. “‘The Movement’ or ‘La Movida Madrileña’ as it was known, saw the rigid social structures that had been implemented previously crumble and as a result of economic growth, exposed many in urban areas to the excesses of pornography, drugs and prostitution.”
In 1984, Porto moved to New York and became Mapplethorpe’s assistant. He was constantly surrounded by Mapplethorpe’s friends and acquaintances such as musicians, artists, porn stars and filmmakers — a diverse community that became the nexus of his photographic practice.
Check out installation views for “Painting to the Star” above and then head to Padre Gallery’s website for more information. The show is on view until November 8.
60 E 80th St.
New York, NY 10075