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Robert Longo: Men in the Cities ©Robert Longo Courtesy in camera galerie

Work / Art

The photographs behind Robert Longo’s iconic charcoal drawings on show

Robert Longo’s iconic charcoal drawing series Men in the Cities (1979) depicted businessmen and women in an ambiguous moment of flailing impact or ecstatic dance. These photos, Longo’s own, are somewhat demystifying in that respect but nonetheless striking as we see the choreography behind his subject matter; the artist directing his models to enact an instant when a bullet hits home and photographing them in free fall.

These multi-literal shoots took place on a New York rooftop and Longo asked his friends to dress in suits and pose, friends that included Cindy Sherman and Larry Gagosian who were young and perfectly positioned on the apogee of that era of art, ready to embrace a spirit of abandon, punk and irony.

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Robert Longo: Men in the Cities ©Robert Longo Courtesy in camera galerie

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Robert Longo: Men in the Cities ©Robert Longo Courtesy in camera galerie

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Robert Longo: Men in the Cities ©Robert Longo Courtesy in camera galerie

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Robert Longo: Men in the Cities ©Robert Longo Courtesy in camera galerie

The photographic series of Men in Cities is now on show at Paris’ Galerie in camera until May 26.