Photographer Mark de Paola has a sixth sense for capturing moments at their most cinematic, creating a narrative that feels both ethereal and visceral, simultaneously intimate and larger than life. De Paola is known for his evocative photography that blurs the line between fashion photography and photojournalism, and his latest series, “Art of Backstage,” continues that theme, finding moments of raw intimacy and haunting humanity among models backstage at the notorious New York Fashion Week. Immersing himself in the fast-paced and almost primal environment behind the scenes of a major fashion show, de Paola breaks through the drama and practiced stoicism of the runway, capturing moments of anticipation, restlessness, and mischief among the models, immortalizing both the fashion and the collective energy that surges behind the scenes.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall backstage at a major runway show, de Paola has documented it in a way that feels both quiet and thoughtful, that zeroes in on the authenticity amidst the surreal make-believe of the fashion industry at large. The “Art of Backstage” has all the electric energy and blinding beauty of a fashion show, but de Paola’s lens adds a layer of intrigue and dynamic personality not often seen in fashion photography. He is not interested in the picture perfect photo opportunity, rather the natural emotion behind the facade, how we are the most beautiful in the moment when we think no one is looking.
“Art of Backstage” was selected to be the first exhibition at the brand new Leica gallery and store at GINZA SIX in Tokyo, which aims to be one of the most luxurious shopping experiences in the world. The exhibition opens April 18th and will run through June 13th. Can’t make it to Tokyo? Immerse yourself in de Paola’s magnetic photography below.