Koo Stark returns to London for first exhibition in 23 years

April 12, 2017

© Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Leica Mayfair is to host Koo Stark’s first London solo exhibition for over 23 years next month, entitled ‘Kintsugi’. The American actress and photographer was propelled into the public eye after her romance with, and subsequent split from, Prince Andrew.

Said showcase is to feature a collection of her body of work, spanning thirty years from between the 1980s to the 2000s, in genres such as reportage, portraiture, nudes and still life – and charting her career as an actress and photographer.

Each of the photographs included in the exhibition has been hand printed in silver or platinum.

The exhibition will be complimented by a smaller project: ‘Who is Koo Stark?’, taking place at the Leica café. This unique selection incorporates portraits of master photographers captured by Koo, and portraits of Koo herself – taken by her mentor, Norman Parkinson, David Bailey and others. She famously shot back at the paparazzi hounding her during the 1980s. Indeed, Stark was the first ‘unwilling celebrity’ to turn the camera lens back on the press – her images of the paparazzi are considered important in the passing of a number of new privacy protection laws in the UK.

Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese method of repairing and breathing new life into things that were once broken – with a focus on the breakage, as opposed to trying to hide it. It has often been compared to the art of wabi-sabi – the traditional celebration of imperfections in objects.

Writing why she chose ‘Kintsugi’ as her title, Stark explains, “Kintsugi is intuitive and counter-intuitive all at once. It’s a paradox; a way of learning to see individual beauty, and to appreciate the value of experience and honesty. It is the antithesis of digital, airbrushed, Photoshop-homogenised ‘beauty’ – a method of portraying and visualising people and objects as they truly are, were and have become through the vicissitudes of life: perfect in imperfection.”

‘Kintsugi’ runs from May 5 to May 26th 2017 at Leica Mayfair.

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