Fashion. Photography. Chickens?
These three seemingly disparate themes intersect in acclaimed fashion photographer Jean Pagliuso’s upcoming show at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.
Following a 30-year career as a portrait photographer working for such publications as Vogue, Times, Newsweek, Time and Rolling Stone, Pagliuso decided to turn her lens on a less traditional subject: chickens.
What began as a way to honor her father’s love of breeding show chickens has since become an extensive collection of poultry portraits. Pagliuso has taken close-up shots of over 20 different chicken breeds, posing them and focusing on the unique plumage and expressions of each.
“I don’t see it as any different at all from photographing people. It’s exactly the same to me. I look for the same things. I look for form and the way the frame is filled,” Pagliuso said in a 2015 interview with Slate Magazine.
The images are printed in black and white on nearly see-through paper. Pagliuso’s treatment of the birds, combined with the delicacy of the printing materials, create a dignified and surprisingly moving series of portraits.
FMoPA Executive Director Zora Carrier, Ph.D. believes Pagliuso’s chickens resonate because she photographs them the same way she photographs fashion models.
“In the literary arts, animals are often used as a metaphor for human behavior. I think part of the reason these photographs are so successful at capturing our attention is because they bring that same metaphorical quality to the visual arts,” said Carrier.
In addition to poultry photography, Pagliuso’s exhibition at FMoPA also will feature a handful of photographs from her book, “In Plain Sight,” which explores endangered environments and places of ritual in Cambodia, India, New Mexico, Peru and Turkey.
The exhibition, titled Poultry, Raptors, Places of Ritual, will open Jan. 26 at FMoPA and run through March 16. Pagliuso will talk about her process in an artist lecture hosted at the museum on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free for members. Regular museum admission fees apply for not-yet members.
Poultry, Raptors, Places of Ritual will be on view during regular museum operating hours and is included in the general admission price. Museum admission is free for members and $10 for not-yet members. To learn more about this exhibition and other programming at the museum, visit www.fmopa.org.
About FMoPA: The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is a museum dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. FMoPA collects preserves and exhibits historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally known photographic artists. FMoPA also enriches the community by operating outreach programs for children and adults and by offering an extensive array of photography classes.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is one of fewer than 10 museums in the United States dedicated exclusively to photography and one of two such museums in the state of Florida.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
400 North Ashley, Cube 200
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 221-2222 | www.fmopa.org
Monday–Thursday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: Noon–5 p.m.
(Docent tours every Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Photo Credit: Jean Pagliuso, “White #15,” 2009
SOURCE: The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
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