As you enter the Ricart Gallery in Wynwood, you'll notice remnants of Carlito Dalceggio's Art Basel exhibition still linger. Though Dalceggio's bohemian-inspired art is eye-catching, what currently hangs is eye-popping.
On display is a joint exhibition titled Curiosity Killed the Cat, consisting of works by celebrity photographer Tiziano Magni and photographer/filmmaker Carter B. Smith.
If Magni's name doesn't strike a bell, then perhaps his famous photographs will. This is the man responsible for the iconic topless Kate Moss black and white image in which she models a pair of jeans for Calvin Klein. Magni has photographed plenty of well-known faces -- both in the nude and with clothes -- but for Curiosity Killed the Cat, he decided to showcase only women.
Noting that he photographs both the male and female body, Magni said in history, the human form has always been a prominent muse.
"The body is always like a form of expression of joy, pleasure, movement, tenseness - anything - so it's really just like an expression," he said in his suave Italian accent. "It could be male or female, the sex is not important."
He continued to tell that behind the lens, there's not much difference.
"The photographer has one eye, it's absolutely the same. It's not that you contemplate the human body in a different way -- both men and women are the same; it's all one human body."
Having seen so many beautiful human bodies -- every inch of them -- he must have some good stories to tell. Magni grinned mischeviously, contemplating not one memory, but a lifetime.
"It's really about being in the moment with the person," he said, "it's the exchange of the personality of the subject I'm photographing that makes the moment unique. There's really not just one that's special. They're all special."
Magni's style is so elegant that although the subject might be completely nude, you can't help but stare into the eyes. The emotion is captured perfectly, encapsulated in a black and white image. In the same way the photographer is enchanted by his subject's beauty, the observer is enchanted by the timeless result.
On the other hand (and the other half of the gallery), Smith's photographs hang as a stark contrast to Magni's work. Whereas the former oozed of elegance and grace, the latter appeared to be photographs uploaded onto Instagram and printed much too large. It's difficult to see the art behind the images.
Smith refers to himself as a "trained photographer and filmmaker" and boasts how his life is his art.
"This is all just part of my life; I shoot my life and that is my art. That's what I'm known for. I have a book out like that. It's just I live my life and shoot it, and shoot it as a trained photographer and filmmaker and I've made - luckily or unluckily - enough to put this stuff out there in the world and let the public judge me."
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"It's all real, there's nothing posed," he sayid just before a friend of his in a black cat suit started creeping down the stairs. Since the show is called Curiosity Killed the Cat, Smith decided to bring one of his "cat friends" along, and though the two brainstormed ideas for the show, in the end "I left it all up to her, she's the professional."
Curiosity Killed the Cat will be on exhibition at the Ricart Gallery (444 NW 28th St.) until March 8, 2014. Visit ricartgallerymiami.com or call 305-576-5000.
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